Sunday, March 31, 2013

Ambassador: Serbia needs to meet seven conditions

PRISTINA - German Ambassador in Kosovo Peter Blomeyer has stated that without fulfilling the seven conditions his country insists on Serbia cannot get a date for the start of EU accession talks, and added that there is no plan B if the Belgrade-Pristina negotiations fail.

Blomeyer told Pristina-based daily Koha Ditore that Serbia will not be granted the date if it does not dismantle its parallel structures in northern Kosovo, and added that four of the seven requests made by Germany refer to Kosovo. Speaking about the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, he pointed out that a community of Serb municipalities should function in keeping with Kosovo laws.

 The ambassador said that he had seen the draft documents which, according to him, envisage executive powers for the community of municipalities, since it has been envisaged that municipalities' powers can be vested in the community of municipalities, that is in the association (as it is called in Pristina). Blomeyer requested that both parties be more creative during the process of negotiations, but added they should also be ready for fundamental compromise. 

 As he put it, there is no plan B for northern Kosovo if the dialogue collapses, but the status quo in northern Kosovo cannot be tolerated any more. It depends on the outcome of the talks whether the EU will start negotiations on the stabilization and association agreement with Kosovo, but also whether Serbia will get a date for the opening of the EU membership talks. The German ambassador said that the EU does not want to admit countries with unresolved issues. 

On March 19, at the end of their two-day visit to Serbia, members of a German parliamentary delegation announced that, before the EU opens the entry talks with Belgrade and Pristina, the two sides should state in a legally binding way that they would normalize relations.

 The clearly expressed will for a legally binding normalization of the relations between Serbia and Kosovo is the key one out of the seven points that the Bundestag deems necessary for giving its approval for Serbia to get a starting date for EU accession talks in June. As regards other conditions, the German parliamentarians underlined the need for concrete agreements aimed at disbanding parallel structures in northern Kosovo, the creation of new ones that would also be accepted by the Serb population, transparent ways of receiving financial assistance from Serbia. 

 They also noted that Belgrade needs to put in further efforts to exercise an influence on Serbs in northern Kosovo to accept the EU Mission so that EULEX could have the freedom of movement, and with which they could cooperate on probes into bomb attacks. 

 The German parliamentarians noted that there is a clear will to carry out a comprehensive judiciary reform, that the strategy has been drafted, so added efforts should be invested in that field.

 Regarding the arson attack on the German Embassy in Belgrade during the protests against the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo-Metohija, they said that even five years after the incident, the authorities have not found those behind that attack, not even an indictment has been issued. Concerning reconciliation in the region, they said that even after the change of the government, the efforts are being invested in establishing contacts with neighbors and fostering good neighborly relations. Photo Tanjug, N. Milosevic

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