President's Kosovo platform is too late - FM Dacic
Ivica Dacic says that the president's Kosovo platform is too late, that he is not familiar with its contents, but is himself "closer" to the policy if PM Vucic.Source: Beta, Vecernje novosti
"It is certain that the prime minister is in contact with the president, that he is consulting about international topics. I understand the need for Serbia to define what it will not do, but I think that everybody knows that already," the foreign minister told the daily Vecernje Novosti, according to the Beta agency.
He said he was not familiar with the content of the platform, while "the most important question is why it was written at all":
"There is a big difference between a political declaration in Belgrade and the needs of the people in Kosovo. We in Belgrade can adopt whatever we want, but in Prizren, which was once the capital (of Serbia) there are now 21 Serbs, the Serbian flag will hardly fly."
Asked whether Tomislav Nikolic's text could make Serbia and the European Union "quarrel", Dacic said "there should not be confrontation without reason, Belgrade needs a strong international position in order to solve the Kosovo issue."
As he said, a partition of Kosovo and Metohija was "still the best solution," but also one that is in his opinion too late, while ethnic Albanians "simply do not accept" the offer of autonomy within Serbia.
According to Dacic, "representatives of foreign countries" find the platform's most contentious part to be the provision of Kosovo's essential autonomy within Serbia. He, however, does not think that Serbia will deal with a request "to recognize Kosovo."
"It is true that we are being asked to sign with Pristina a legally binding agreement, but that does not necessarily mean that it will be a request for mutual recognition. At the moment nobody in Brussels knows what exactly will be written in this agreement," said Dacic, who also serves as first deputy prime minister.
Dacic added there was "consensus of all EU members expect Germany" to open the first chapters in Serbia's EU membership negotiations, and that it was "not realistic" to expect this might happen in June.
He added that "a precise roadmap" was asked from EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, but that there has not yet been a reply to this, "perhaps because she has not yet entered into the whole matter and realization of where decisions are in fact made."
Dacic also remarked during the interview that he viewed as "horror" the possibility of former Serbian President Boris Tadic joining Vucic's cabinet, adding that his Socialists (SPS) will remain in power "if its coalition partners so decide."
Asked about rumors that his job was safe because he was "a Russian man" and because he currently chairs the OSCE, the foreign minister said he "did not pay attention" to such comments.
Dacic also said he was not in favor of early elections as he "cannot see they are needed at this time," because he "does not know what they would change."