"Thaci's visit would violate government policy"

Serbia would violate its government policy on Kosovo if it allowed Hashim Thaci to visit Belgrade as Kosovo's minister of foreign affairs, Ivica Dacic has said.

Source: Beta, Politika, Tanjug
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"This attempt for Hashim Thaci to visit Belgrade does not constitute reconciliation, it is an attempt to see whether we dare to say 'you can't." Well, you can't come to Serbia in this format, in this manner, " the Serbian foreign minister told the daily Politika on Sunday.

Thaci, along with four ministers from the region, has been invited to attend a conference on European integration of the Western Balkans which will take place in Belgrade from April 23 to 25, with the Youth Education Committee NGO as the gathering's organizer.

Serbian officials last week stressed that Thaci's plans to visit were not harmonized with state institutions, that the trip would be "unnecessary," and that, considering there is an indictment against him, he would be arrested.

Dacic also noted that the intention of the NGO to organize the gathering constitutes a provocation, as he had not been consulted by anyone about the conference, and that "his invitation to the event in Belgrade came from Pristina."

Noting that the NGO was financed by the British embassy in Belgrade, "but also by some state organs in Serbia through various programs and projects," Dacic said he asked the British embassy "whether it was behind the organization of the conference," and was told that they were not, "but that they are giving money for those programs."

He then recalled that Enver Hoxhaj, Thaci's predecessor "visited Serbia and was invited to do so," but that Thaci received no invitation from any Serbian state official, "while there is a clear procedure which defines mutual visits."

Asked whether Thaci's trip to Belgrade was perhaps "some unwritten condition of Brussels" set before Serbia in its bid to join the organization, Dacic said, "we no longer recognize unwritten conditions."

Asked "whether he is officially told that Germany's conditions are conditions to open (EU membership negotiations) chapters," Dacic said, "they don't say these are conditions, they say Germans will not give their consent."

Germany's foreign minister will soon visit Serbia, and Dacic stated that "we wish to speak openly about all these issues."

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