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Defense minister: No ad hoc solution for Kosovo


Friday 19.08.2011.

BELGRADE — There must be awareness that there is no “ad hoc solution” for the Kosovo problem, Serbia’s Defense Minister Dragan Sutanovac has said.

He added that “aside from a wise vision, we should look for allies in order to get to the ultimate goal that will be acceptable for Serbia”.

The defense minister stressed that there was no dilemma that the countries that had recognized Kosovo supported Pristina’s plans to establish its legal system in the entire territory of Kosovo.

He has assessed, however, that the way Pristina had attempted to do so “had no support of the international community” and that “Priština’s latest moves were a surprise to Washington officials” and that “they did not condone them”.

“One of the important interlocutors is the U.S. The climate in Washington is slowly changing, there is a better understanding of the situation that Serbia is in and Priština does not have unreserved support anymore, especially not for violent actions. It is up to us now to show patience and determination to diplomatically solve problems,” Sutanovac told daily Večernje novosti.

According to him, it is good that the international officials understand that the issue of Kosovo is not closed and that they have clearly said that those who attempt to solve the problems by using violence cannot expect their support.

“Kosovo currently is not in either East or West’s focus, great states have their own problems and (Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim) Thaci is using this vacuum. But it is obvious that he ‘broke his teeth’ in the attempt to take over the administrative crossings,” the Serbian minister was quoted as saying.

“We should be patient, citizens should have confidence in the state organs, we should be united and sooner or later things will be solved in our favor. I believe that Serbia will very soon be an important partner in solving of big security challenges, regardless of the fact that we do not agree about Kosovo with a large part of the West right now,” Sutanovac explained.

Pointing out that Serbia has no perspective without the EU, he said that he did not believe that Serbia will be forced to choose between Kosovo and the EU.

“Besides, European integration for me is not a matter of candidacy, but a matter of reaching the standard. Serbia should build institutions, increase its capacities, fight against corruption and crime and thus make its way toward the European values. The issue of the accession date itself is irrelevant for me,” the defense minister stressed, adding that “the act of accession itself is less important that reaching the European standards”.

Source: Vecernje novosti

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