Elsinore CoE meeting hears Kosovo joining would be "wrong"

Ivica Dacic has told a Council of Europe (CoE) meeting in Elsinore, Denmark that his country would stand up and against any attempt to make Kosovo its member.

Source: Beta
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(Tanjug, file)
(Tanjug, file)

Serbia's first deputy PM and foreign minister spoke on Friday at the ministerial meeting - during which Croatia took over from Denmark the chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers.

He added that, "for the sake of improving protection of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law - Serbia supports continued CoE engagement in Kosovo and Metohija, while fully respecting UN Security Council Resolution 1244, and the status-neutral approach."

Dacic also "welcomed Croatia's decision to make protection of national (ethnic) minority rights one of the priorities of its chairmanship " - and added that Serbia assigns great importance to that issue, and is actively committed to contributing to, along with the CoE, continuing engagement in realizing that goal.

"At the same time, we expect that all rights of members of the Serb national minority in neighboring countries will be fully respected in accordance with the Organization's standards, including the issue of the rights of members of the Serb national minority in the neighboring countries to use their mother tongue and alphabet," he said, referring to the Serbian language, and the Serbian Cyrillic script.

In his address, Dacic also stated that Serbia "attaches great importance to protecting and promoting the freedom of expression and media freedoms, which play a key role in democratic processes" as well as "the freedom of assembly and association guaranteed by the Constitution and relevant laws."

In the past period, he added, "significant attention had been paid in Serbia to enabling greater involvement of civil society organizations in the decision-making process at all levels."

The minister also said that "at the national level, a number of measures have been taken to fulfill the recommendations of the Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO) related to Serbia" - and that "in that sense, a coordination team has been set up to steer activities toward implementing GRECO report's recommendations."

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