“EU integration should not stop because of Kosovo”
Serbia’s Prime Minister Ivica Dačić told CorD Magazine that it would be very wrong to stop Serbia’s EU pathway due to relations with Priština.Source: Tanjug, CorD Magazine
He believes that it is time for Serbia to move forward in the EU integration process because it has fulfilled all the conditions for the start of the EU accession talks.
“The Kosovo issue was not created overnight, and it is not realistic for it to be solved overnight. We think that no one can require this from us,” Dačić stressed.
He pointed out that “it is not realistic to end the story about Kosovo without an agreement with Serbia”.
“We are ready to discuss everything and I think that this is a process that should go in parallel with negotiations on membership. It would be very wrong to stop Serbia’s European path due to relations with Priština,” the prime minister explained.
He added that Serbia wanted to start the EU accession negotiations as soon as possible, stressing that Serbia has worked very hard to make changes within the system so far and showed that it had the will, that it could get it done and that it had people who were capable and competent to operate in accordance with the highest standards.
“We believe that we have fulfilled the political criteria cited in last December’s European Council conclusions on Serbia, namely, the ‘normalization of relations with Priština’ and therefore, we deserve to get a start date for negotiations,” Dačić said.
According to the prime minister, the process of dialogue with Priština has started at the highest political level and Serbia is ready to implement the agreement on regional representation and integrated administrative crossings management reached by the previous government.
“The process of dialogue has started, moving away from the standstill which was to the detriment of Serbia. But the problems should be solved, and we have shown a willingness to do it. We believe that the time has come to move forward in European integration,” he was quoted as saying.
When asked about the upcoming, third meeting with Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, Dačić said that the goal was the normalization of relations and discussions on possible solutions to the everyday problems of all citizens of Kosovo.
“We should build a good relationship between the Albanian and Serbian sides, and I think that this can be achieved through our focus on the need for cooperation for economic development and infrastructure construction. Only in this way will the citizens live better and tensions decrease,” the prime minister stressed.
“I believe that Kosovo Albanians will then begin to perceive a different potential cooperation with Belgrade and in time show willingness for the historic compromise between two peoples,” he added.
Commenting on Thaci’s statement for Zagreb-based daily Jutarnji list that he was tired of the Serbian politics of Kosovo’s demarcation, Dačić said:
“If the issue of secession and independence of Kosovo was a done deal, we would have no need for a dialogue. The status of the Serbian community in the north and in the south is a crucial issue for us.”