Policy of peace Serbia's goal – Tadić

President Boris Tadić says that Serbia’s main aim is a policy of peace, and would remain so as long as he was president.

Source: B92, Beta

“The Democratic Party (DS), state institutions and democracy in Serbia have to be a guarantee for preservation of peace in the coming years, as this is the only way to ensure economic development and a more secure future,” Tadić told the Democrats' Main Board today.

He said that he would stand again at the presidential elections and that he expected Serbia to implement reforms and eventually join the EU between 2012 and 2014.

“Serbia won’t accept Kosovo independence or any other such declaration, and should Kosovo independence be recognized in contravention of international principles, we will oppose the decision using all legal means,” said the president.

Tadić felt that the mediating Troika had conducted the Kosovo talks properly, the same of which could not be said for UN Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari.

Serbia had put forward flexible proposals in the search for a compromise, but the Albanian side had been sidestepping negotiations for the last four months, said the president, stressing that Serbia opposed Kosovo having its own army, as it would endanger its basic state and national interests.

“The establishment of a Kosovo army would threaten the stability of the Balkans,” he pointed out, adding that Serbia had no intention of sending troops to Kosovo to govern the province “with elements of force,” but rather wished Kosovo to be a demilitarized zone.

However, Tadić added that Serbia wanted to be involved in the defense of its frontiers, and to share responsibility in this area with international institutions.

The president reiterated his support for the Dayton Accords and Bosnia-Hercegovina’s territorial integrity, stressing that Serbia would approve any solution acceptable to the country’s three communities.

Earlier, Tadić told a Slovenian newspaper that a unilateral declaration of Kosovo independence will lead to instability.

“I still think that a solution needs to be found somewhere between the independence demanded by the Kosovo Albanians, and the preservation of territorial integrity demanded by Serbia,” Tadić told Ljubljana daily Dnevnik.

He felt that “compromise is necessary for a stable solution. "Unilateral solutions lead to instability,” he said.

The president stated that Serbia did not accept the Ahtisaari Plan for controlled independence, as that “ultimately meant independence.”

“If Kosovo becomes an independent state, then the project of a Greater Albania will all but have come to fruition. Since, who will then be able to stop the Albanians from forming a single state at the end of the process,” he pointed out.

The president cited other examples “similar to Kosovo.”

“What are we to do with Bosnia? That’s a big problem. I don't want Bosnia-Hercegovina to split up. In that event, we’d have a Greater Serbia and a Greater Croatia, with a little Bosniak nation in between, that would lead to great tension,” Tadić stressed.

“That would increase the likelihood of forces supporting Al-Qaeda and similar terrorist organizations being linked to that state,” predicted the president.

He said that he did not wish those scenarios to emerge, adding that “early Serbian entry into the EU is not possible, as certain EU-defined procedures and standards have to be complied with first.”

In Tadić’s opinion, Serbia could never agree to a trade-off whereby a part of its territory was “exchanged” for early EU entry.

The president added that Serbia had a right to become a part of the EU. “We will discuss this independently from the Kosovo status negotiations. I’m sure that Serbia will become an EU candidate as early as 2008,” he underlined.

He added that “Serbian EU membership was not just in Serbia’s interests, but the whole of the EU’s.”

“Serbs live in other Balkan states, and the EU would offer us new opportunities, investment and stability. The other option is instability in Serbia, the region and Europe, which we don’t want,” Tadić told Dnevnik.


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