Saturday, April 27, 2013

Committee on KiM adopts government report

4/26/2013 1:38:00 PM
BELGRADE - After a heated debate on Friday, the parliamentary Committee on Kosovo-Metohija (KiM) adopted the government report on the dialogue with Pristina, including the agreement on the normalization of Belgrade-Pristina relations initialed in Brussels on April 19. Director of the Government Office for Expert and Operative Tasks in the Negotiating Process Dejan Pavicevic, who backs the government's position, said that the agreement reflects political reality and that it is certainly better than the humiliating texts offered during the previous rounds of talks. 

 He said that the Brussels agreement will provide for "a normal functioning of the Serb people in the north of the province and south of the Ibar River," adding that the struggle for the position of the Serbs in KiM is only starting, as the deal is of "general character" and leaves room for further arrangements. "It could not have been better, but it could have been much worse," Pavicevic said, adding that by refusing to accept the agreement Serbia would go into self-isolation and would not have a chance to win anything. 

 Office for KiM Deputy Director Krstimir Pantic presented different views, saying that the office's director resigned because he thinks that the agreement is below the minimum set by the Serbian parliament's documents. Criticizing the deal, Pantic said that by accepting it the government "encourages emigration of its own citizens from the territory of KiM," and that after this it will not need to formally recognize Kosovo's independence at all.

 "Serbia will have to renounce everything indicating its presence in KiM," he said, adding that "the citizens are embittered because they have been defending the state of Serbia in this territory for 14 years, and the agreement with Pristina implies that Serbia is withdrawing and slowly leaving KiM to Albanians," Pavicevic said. MP of the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) Slobodan Samardzic also fiercely criticized the agreement, saying that in the last several years Serbia's policy has been continually moving toward the ceding of Kosovo to Albanians, which was finally done by this agreement. "The agreement is completely based on Kosovo's legal and constitutional order, and if you are trying to persuade us that the previous round was worse, than you are underestimating our intelligence," he said. 

 The only chance Kosovo Serbs have is that the agreement be not implemented, Samardzic said, adding that DSS would do everything in its power to ensure that does not happen. Srdjan Milivojevic from the opposition Democratic Party (DS) lodged a protest against the fact that the government report covers the dialogue's phases that were conducted during the term of the previous DS-led government. He accused the government of trying to hide behind agreements that were reached by the negotiating team that was headed by DS official Borislav Stefanovic. Photo Tanjug, S.Ilic

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