VUCIC, MCCAIN DISCUSS THE DIFFICULTY OF TALKS WITH ALBANIANS, NOT RECOGNITION OF KOSOVO
BELGRADE, 10 April 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said on April 10 that he had discussed the difficulty of the dialogue with the Kosovo Albanians, with U.S. Senator John McCain, not the idea of Serbia recognizing Kosovo's independence. When asked by a reporter if the U.S. senator had asked Belgrade to recognize the independence of Kosovo and Metohija and impose sanctions against Russia, Vucic described the conversation as "sincere and open," adding that "neither question was raised in that way." "I said that we wanted a neutral military status. We have established a partnership with NATO, and have participated in joint exercises with the Russians and the Americans. We want a good relationship with Russia, but strategically, we are on a path to the European Union. This is our real policy, because Serbia is a reliable partner, respected in Moscow, Washington and Brussels alike," Vucic told reporters in Belgrade. The Serbian PM said that the other themes discussed with the U.S. official included peace and stability in the region, bilateral relations and important global issues. Vucic explained that they also talked about the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the need for a greater presence of the U.S. political establishement and companies in Serbia, and Serbia's role in peace operations in the world.
MCCAIN: U.S. TO HELP SERBIA ACCELERATE EU INTEGRATION
BELGRADE, 10 April 2017 (Beta) - U.S. Senator John McCain said on April 10 that the U.S. support to a peaceful, integrated Europe is "steel-clad," and that he hoped for cooperation with Serbia in stepping up its progress in joining the Euro-Atlantic community. At a joint press conference after a Belgrade meeting with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, the U.S. senator said he was committed to cooperation that would allow Serbia to join the European community as a regional "force of reconciliation." McCain added that he believed that everyone who was part of the civic sector would be an ally on Serbia's path to the EU, and that their voices should be heard. The U.S. official said that the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue led to progress, underlining that the dialogue requires courageous leadership, which, as he put it, he would say again during his visit to Pristina next week. McCain said that he congratulated the Serbian PM on the progress accomplished in economic reforms, and thanked Serbia for its contribution to the struggle against Islamic State. The U.S. senator also said that everything that happened in Eastern Europe was of vital importance for U.S. security. McCain said he had talked with Vucic about the fact that two world wars had begun in the region of Eastern Europe, and that a situation that might aggravate the situation in the region should not be permitted.
UNMIK CHIEF: RAMUSH HARADINAJ'S BROTHER'S THREATS SERIOUSLY DISTURBING
BELGRADE, 10 April 2017 (Beta) - UNMIK Chief Zahir Tanin on April 10 said that threats by MP Daut Haradinaj that there would be no Serbs left in Kosovo, should the French court decide to extradite his brother Ramush Haradinaj to Serbia was a reason for serious concern. "The statement issued the past weekend by Daut Haradinaj, using hate speech to threaten with ethnic cleansing, is inadmissible and a reason for serious concern," Tanin said and called on Kosovo leaders to condemn this statement and on judicial bodies to conduct the necessary investigation into the incident and take adequate measures in line with Kosovo law. In a program on TV Dukadjini, Daut Haradinaj said that the handover of Ramush Haradinaj to Serbia would be "a mistake," which the French court could make and which could lead to the ethnic cleansing of the Serbs in Kosovo. "They could push us into a war, nothing but that. I do not know about others, but I know for myself: if they make a mistake and if they do that, they should be ready for more serious themes. If they want a Kosovo with no Serbs, then they can fool around," Daut Haradinaj said. On April 11, Tanin will meet in Kosovska Mitrovica with Ljubomir Maric, deputy head of the Serbian government's Office for Kosovo and Metohija, according to a release from the office.