December 1, 2011 663 Lexime
Serbian President Boris Tadic stated that the issue of Serbia’s European integration is now at a turning point. “We will see whether Serbia would be welcome in the EU with its principles, stands and limits”, Tadic said in an interview for the Friday edition of the Banja Luka-based daily “Glas Srpske”.
BanjaLuka, SERBIA – Thursday, December 1, 2011
Mr. Tadic added that on one hand, there is the issue of the candidate status which leads to talks about membership, while on the other hand there is the issue of Kosovo which constitutes a systemic problem. Those who recognized the independence of Kosovo cannot deny the problem which is obvious in the everyday life of northern Kosovo, he said.
“We need to find a solution to the Kosovo issue which would be sustainable, functional, which could stand the test of time, and which would be embodied in a compromise instead of serving the interest of one side only.
Compromises are always painful, and it is the role of individuals who speak on behalf of a number of people, such as presidents, prime ministers, mayors and politicians to find sustainable compromise solutions”, Tadic said.
Replying to the question as to why he does not wish to go to the roadblocks in northern Kosovo and back local Serbs, Tadic said that he will not go there because nobody would benefit from this, especially not northern Kosovo Serbs as their position would be even more vulnerable if this was to happen.
I think we learned our lesson, Tadic said and noted that the citizens protest was justified and useful back when the Pristina ethnic Albanian government decided to use force and take over the crossings.
“It was made clear to the international community that Serb citizens will not accept any unilateral or violent actions, or Pristina’s sovereignty in the region”, Tadic said.
“We see Kosovo as our territory, as a part of our integrated government system, and we do not want to recognize Kosovo’s independence nor give up on our interests”, Tadic pointed out. However, he said, we are faced with the fact that Serbian officials can visit Kosovo only if the international factors give them permission to do so.
Under the regime of former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, Belgrade in 1990 put an end to decades of broad autonomy for Kosovo Albanians and introduced direct rule in the province, where minority Serbs led all institutions. Calls for renewal of autonomy by ethnic Albanians were rejected. This led to armed rebellion by Kosovo Albanian groups, followed by stern Serbian repression in 1998 and 1999.
The international response came by way of 11 weeks of NATO bombing of Serbian installations. The war in Kosovo erupted in 1998 when Serbia launched a brutal crackdown against the Albanian civilians, as well as people fighting for liberation of their country from Serbia. The UN administration was introduced after 11 weeks of NATO bombardment of Serbia due to Belgrade’s repression against two million Kosovo Albanians.
Since 1999 Kosovo still remains a constant international political conflict between Kosovo Albanians and Serbian governors. More than 80 countries, including the United States and most of the European Union, have recognized the new country, which declared its independence in February 2008.
source: B92/tanjug/glass srpske/IndependenT NewsweeK/
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