Dacic on Kosovo partition, Ivanovic murder, lobbying

Ivica Dacic has told Prva TV why he believes partitioning the territory of Kosovo and Metohija is the solution to the dispute between Belgrade and Pristina.

Source: B92, Prva TV
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(EPA, file)
(EPA, file)

"I have been talking about a partition for about 10, 15 years, and I think it's the only possible and fast solution. However, this is not the only solution, all possible options should be considered," the first deputy PM and foreign minister said.

"For the West, the only option is the recognition of Kosovo's independence. There is a lack of solutions that can be implemented, and there is also a lack of proposals. It would be good for everyone to present their proposals, rather than go with nationalistic positions that are not acceptable to either side," Dacic said.

He also commented on the statement of the Kosovo head of diplomacy, who said the answers to the questions about the murder of Oliver Ivanovic are in Belgrade.

"That is a direct accusation that Belgrade is guilty of Ivanovic's murder, while he had been put in prison by Kosovo Albanians (who accused Ivanovic of war crimes), and I spoke against such a decision at the UN Security Council. Pristina is conducting an investigation (into the murder) and why there have been no answers is a question for the Kosovo authorities, but also for the EU, because it asked for security services to be integrated into Kosovo's services," Dacic said.

According to him, the situation around the medieval Serbian Orthodox Monastery Visoki Decani - where Pristina attempted to build a road through a protected zone, but then apparently gave up on the idea under pressure from the EU and the US - was aimed at isolating the monastery, "which could also lead to its demolition."

Asked whether it might be too late for Serbia to hire lobby groups to improve its position on Kosovo, Dacic said it was not too late because a lasting solution to the Kosovo issue is being sought.

"We have not been without lobbying before, I said earlier that we gave money three times, but the effects were not there. It happened once during Kostunica's government, and the second time during the government of Tadic and Jeremic," said Dacic, who was on both occasions also in the government - but did not specify when lobbyists were hired the third time.

As he pointed out, lobbying is "the only legal way in which American society functions" - while here, it has a negative connotation.

"If we are a big country that does not need it... This is about the fact that we have no chance of changing the position of the (US) State Department, but we have a chance to work with the new US administration," Dacic said.

Politics

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