FM: Serbia won't sign "peace deal with Kosovo"

Serbia will not sign "an international peace agreement with Kosovo," Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić has told the Belgrade-based daily Danas.

Source: Danas

On the other hand, outgoing Prime Minister of Kosovo Hashim Thaci announced that such an agreement would be signed soon, "as a prelude to the start of the second phase of the dialogue."

The newspaper quoted "experts familiar with the EU-mediated dialogue between Belgrade and Priština" who said that signing of the agreement "will have to come despite the denial of Serbia" - but "not any time soon, as Thaci claims."

"Hashim Thaci has in mind a mutual recognition of Serbia and Kosovo. Serbia will not sign that agreement," Dačić said.

Thaci last week told German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and all those present at a conference on the Western Balkans, that "Kosovo is ready to continue the second phase of the dialogue," which, he said, should end with "an international agreement on peace between Kosovo and Serbia."

"That's what the minister of foreign affairs of Kosovo spoke about before the UN Security Council, which is a reflection of their blindness. They think everything's already been resolved as far as the status (of Kosovo) and all that needs to be done is to pressure us. We have not changed our position and all agreements reached have been status-neutral," Dačić was explicit.

Kosovo's ethnic Albanians in early 2008 unilaterally declared independence, but Serbia rejected the proclamation as illegal under its Constitution.

Last week, the paper is reporting, Ever Hoxhaj said before the UN Security Council said that Kosovo was "ready to continue the dialogue with Serbia until a full normalization of relations," but that the dialogue should not be "endless" and should end with the signing of an "inter-state peace agreement."

According to political analyst Dušan Janjić, the signing such a document has been "envisaged" in a non-paper produced by Britain and Germany in October last year.

"The so-called 'non-paper' that was accepted by the other EU countries, and will enter into the negotiation framework of Serbia and the EU, that is, into chapter 35, says that after achieving full normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo a comprehensive legally binding agreement will be signed," he said, and added:

"That's precisely that agreement - an international peace agreement, that Kosovo officials talk about. Thaci, therefore, did not speak untruth in Berlin about the necessity of signing a peace inter-state agreement, but he spoke about something that will happen in a few years. He did it, I guess, because of internal political needs - as if it is something that should happen tomorrow."


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