Belgrade, April 15, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Milos Mitrovic
There is no need for Hashim Thaci, Kosovo’s Deputy PM and diplomacy head, to come to Belgrade, Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said today. Serbian Danas daily previously reported that Thaci would attend a conference which is to be organised by “Youth Committee for education” on April 24.
Media in Belgrade and Pristina also claim, quoting unnamed sources, that NGO “Peace Ambassadors” will organise the conference; foreign ministers of four Balkan countries are announced as participants while Belgrade is allegedly in a “delicate situation” due to European Union’s pressure on Serbia.
“This gathering will not be organised by the Government of Serbia and I do not plan to participate; therefore, I don’t believe there’s a need for Hashim Thaci to come to Belgrade”, Dacic said at the media conference in Belgrade after meeting Harry Kalaba, his Zambian counterpart.
The Serbian FM stated that he has learned about the conference from media accounts.
“Nobody has consulted us considering this, nor has any state institution participated in the preparations for the gathering”, Dacic said adding that “such serious issues should not be the subject of a frivolous approach”.
“I do respect the work of different institutes, NGO’s, academies, but anything that encroaches Serbian state policy should not be organised without consultations with the government”, FM concluded.
When asked whether Thaci’s arrival should represent a problem and if Kosovo’s FM was criminally charged in Serbia, Dacic reiterated: “I think there’s no need for him to come”. Thaci was indicted for war crimes in Serbia in 1990s and later.
Dacic underlined that Belgrade and Pristina did a lot towards the normalisation of their relations in accordance with agreements that have been reached. However, a conference in Belgrade was not discussed, he insisted.
When asked whether would Serbia guarantee Thaci’s safety if he comes to Belgrade, the FM replied with a question: “Do you really think that he would come without previous consultations with Serbian government?”.
It’s acceptable for such meetings to be organised in Brussels or some other country, but they cannot be organised in Belgrade without consultations with the Serbian authorities”, Dacic stressed. “Accordingly, this is a very sensitive issue which requires a very thoughtful approach”, he went on recalling that Serbia’s officials need permission from the authorities in Pristina when they intend to go to Kosovo.
Photo: Ivica Dacic and Hashim Thaci with former EU High Representative for Foreign Policy Catherine Ashton in Brussels in 2013