Vucic in US trip, amid accusations of "secret Kosovo talks"

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic is on a private visit to New York City with his daughter, Voice of America said it learned unofficially.

Source: B92, Blic, VOA, Tanjug
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(Tanjug, file)
(Tanjug, file)

According to the broadcaster, the (Serbian) diplomatic mission in New York has nothing to do with Vucic's visit - and is "not in contact with him on this occasion."

Vucic previously confirmed his trip on Twitter, while responding to a post by Serbia's former Foreign Minister, now leader of the opposition People's Party Vuk Jeremic, who in the past also served as president of the UN General Assembly.

Along with "apologizing for spoiling the plans to keep the visit a secret," he asked the head of state "why he asked not to have security provided by the protocol," and "for how long his press conference on Saturday delayed the flight (from Belgrade) to New York."

Jeremic previously told Sarajevo-based Face TV that Vucic was conducting "secret Kosovo talks" and that he therefore "privately traveled to New York."

"Vucic had secret dinner with Hashim Thaci in Paris on (last) Tuesday, and on Sunday privately traveled to New York, about which the public in Serbia has not been informed. He is also negotiating with (Ramush) Haradinaj through a close mediator from his surroundings," Jeremic said.

Vice President of Vucic's ruling SNS party Milenko Jovanov reacted to this by saying that Vucic would "as always" inform the Serbian citizens immediately upon returning from New York and Brussels "about all his activities and everything he is doing, in line with the Constitution."

"Vucic was hiding so much that he took photos with at least 50 passengers, and only a person who had visa problems was unable to see the president of Serbia," Jovanov said, referring to Air Serbia's regular flight to New York that Vucic took. "So much for him hiding," Jovanov concluded.

The president's General Secretary Nikola Selakovic also reacted on Tuesday, to say that Vucic would respond to "everyone attacking him and spreading stories" once he is back from New York.

Selakovic also said that Vucic "never met with Haradinaj in some meeting" and that none of his meetings with Thaci have been "secret."

Also on Tuesday, Belgrade-based daily Blic reported that it learned unofficially Vucic was "not in a private visit" to the US after all.

Referring to diplomatic sources, the newspaper said that Vucic "should meet with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday, while he already held meetings with people from the UN and the US administration."

The article added that the president "asked for help in solving the Kosovo issue" and that his trip represents "a continuation of the diplomatic offensive that is in full swing."

On Tuesday afternoon, Beta agency said that it received confirmation from the UN HQ in New York that the Vucic-Guterres meeting would take place on Wednesday.

This will come two days before Vucic's meeting in Brussels on Friday with Kosovo President Hashim Thaci.

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