Signing SAA is binding, says Tadić

The government decision from December 2007 to sign the SAA is legal and binding, Boris Tadić says.

Source: B92, FoNet

The Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) was initialed in November last year, but the EU has rejected to sign it until Belgrade fully cooperates with the Hague Tribunal.

Today Tadić, the Democratic Party (DS) leader and Serbian president, said those government members who might refuse to execute this decision would act illegally.

He rejected claims coming from the DSS-NS coalition, that the possible signing of the SAA at a moment when some EU countries have recognized the Kosovo Albanians' unilateral declaration of independence, would amount to a violation of the constitution.

"This is initiated by the election campaign, not by responsible thinking," Tadić said of his critics' arguments.

According to him, such claims are tantamount to the rhetoric of the 1990s, "and cannot scare anyone who is seriously engaged in politics".

Last week, New Serbia (NS) leader Velimir Ilić threatened Tadić with a recall procedure in parliament in case the EU offered the agreement, and he decided to sign it.

"Those who are saying such things today only three months ago said that the SAA ought to be signed and voted in favor of the move in the cabinet, so now they have no credibility for such words and such a political position," Tadić continued.

"Only for the purpose of the elections, once again threats and accusations of treason, patriotic and unpatriotic behavior are established, Serbia is plunging into the atmosphere of the 1990s. This is shameful, and what's more important, completely counterproductive and very damaging for Serbia and her citizens," the leader of the Democrats said.

He added that, as the head of state, he "cannot accept such policy, since it is his duty to protect the constitution, state interests and those of all citizens".

Tadić went on to say that "quite obviously the SAA signing story would not have surfaced if there weren't for the elections", and that those parties and leaders that are now changing their opinion on the deal are "looking for different coalition solutions, or a new political identity".

Tadić added that the condition for Serbia's success is her international credibility, which is achieved with EU membership, at the same time increasing the country's economic power.

The first and natural step toward that goal is to sign the SAA, he said, and reminded that Article 135 of the document "confirms UN Resolution 1244, which is the cornerstone of Serbia's integrity in Kosovo".


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