"Kosovo's UNESCO bid? They'll lose every time"

Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said late on Thursday that the claim Pristina has enough votes to join UNESCO was "a big lie."

Source: Beta, Blic
(Tanjug, file)
(Tanjug, file)

"In all the meetings the president and I have had here, this subject was also discussed," said Dacic, who is in New York as part of the Serbian delegation, led by Aleksandar Vucic, taking part in the UN General Assembly.

According to Beta, the minister said that both Kosovo Deputy PM Behgjet Pacolli - who made the claim earlier in the day - and Kosovo President Hashim Thaci "will lose in UNESCO next time they put forward their candidature, just as they did two years ago."

"A large number of our friends not only has an unchanged position in the opposite direction (of Pristina's bid), but many countries have changed their position in a positive direction for Serbia. That means the countries that abstained (in 2015) will now vote against Kosovo's admission to UNESCO," Dacic said.

He added that Pristina, if it wishes UNESCO to decide on its bid this year, must submit an application by mid-October. UNESCO's General Conference will then be held in November, and the next one in 2019.

"So far there have been no hints that they will apply, I think they fear losing. I don't recommend to them to put forward their candidature," Dacic concluded.

"They will lose every time"

In a statement for the Belgrade-based daily Blic, Ivica Dacic said that Kosovo will lose the battle every time when it comes to joining UNESCO.

"They lost at the conference in Paris (in 2015), they will lose now. And every time," Dacic said, commenting on Pacolli's statement.

"They do not have enough (votes) for UNESCO, Pacolli thinks he can solve everything with money, but that's not the case. We won two years ago, even though the strongest countries supported them," Dacic said.

He recalled that some 30 Foreign Ministry diplomats have been lobbying abroad over the previous period, and added that there was "no chance" that Pristina would get enough votes.

"The Executive Council is in October, and the General Conference in November. And they have not yet registered the topic, and there is little chance of them doing so," the minister said.

Dacic also recalled that Pacolli was there with Hashim Thaci when Pristina's bid to join UNESCO failed two years ago in Paris.

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