Home Page
news 26 Sep 12

Serbia's Nikolic Makes UN Plea For Kosovo Talks

Serbian President tells General Assembly he seeks top-level talks 'in good faith' with Kosovo, while reiterating Belgrade's staunch opposition to Kosovo's independence.

Bojana Barlovac BIRN Belgrade

President Tomislav Nikolic told the UN General Assembly on Tuesday that while Serbia would never recognize the independence of Kosovo, Belgrade was "committed to achieving a lasting peace between Serbs and Albanians".

To achieve this aim, Nikolic said that Serbia wanted direct negotiations with Pristina at the highest political level.

"We strongly desire the [EU-led] talks to be continued in good faith and with good intentions," he said, "taking into account, among other things, that it is important to keep the dynamics of the European integration of Serbia and of the Western Balkans as a whole in order to ensure progress and stability of the entire region in the long term."

EU-mediated talks between Belgrade and Pristina started in March 2011 aimed at normalising relations between the two countries, both of which share a desire to join the EU one day.

Nikolic seeks organ trade probe

Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic also said that Serbia wanted an investigation into the allegations on organ trafficking in Kosovo contained in a report by Dick Marty, rapporteur of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly.

"We are simply asking for the truth. We are asking to discover the fate of hundreds of Serbs missing from Kosovo and Metohija, who are reasonably believed to be the victims of illicit trafficking in human organs and of other crimes committed in Kosovo and Metohija. In the name of my people, I simply demand justice for the innocent victims," he said.

The two sides have reached deals on trade, freedom of movement, the cadastral registry, mutual recognition of university diplomas, border control management and on the representation of Kosovo at regional meetings.

But not all of the agreements have been implemented.

At the same time, Nikolic repeated that more intensive talks with Kosovo were not a sign that Serbian opposition to Kosovo's independence was weakening.

"May I be clear: Serbia is not ready and cannot, nor will it ever under any circumstances, recognize either explicitly or implicitly the unilaterally declared independence of its southern province of Kosovo and Metohija," Nikolic said.

Vuk Jeremic, a former foreign minister and now president of the 67th UN General Assembly, said that Serbia was committed to a vision of peace based on the rule of international law.

"We have today sent two strong messages to the world - that we are capable of heading the most important international organization [ie the UN] ... and a clear national message about our priorities and what we find acceptable, especially when it comes to Kosovo and Metohija," he said, in reference to his own role, and Nikolic's speech.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and has so far been recognised by 89 UN member states, including the US and 22 of the 27 EU countries.

Five EU countries, Spain, Slovakia, Romania, Greece and Cyrpus, have refused to recognise Koxovo, as have Serbia's two big-power allies, China and Russia.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Serbia - Kosovo Relations: Latest Headlines

kosovo-s-decision-sparks-new-belgrade-pristina-tension-03-15-2017 News 15 Mar 17 Serbia Accuses Kosovo of Grabbing its Property

The head of Serbia's Office for Kosovo, Marko Djuric, has denounced a decision to register the Kosovo state as the owner of the all immovable property once registered in the name of Yugoslavia or Serbia.

thaci-ready-to-resign-if-kosovo-army-bill-fails-03-10-2017 News 11 Mar 17 Thaci Threatens to Quit if Kosovo Army Bill Fails

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci on Friday said he would resign if parliament does not approve a law transforming the current Security Force into a regular army.

the-majority-in-serbia-unwilling-to-go-to-war-for-kosovo-02-14-2017 News 14 Feb 17 Most Serbians Unwilling to Fight for Kosovo: Survey

Three-quarters of Serbian citizens do not want to wage war to win Kosovo back, suggested a survey which also indicated that the majority support continued dialogue with Pristina.

kosovo-s-president-with-an-initiative-of-reconciliation-02-13-2017 news 13 Feb 17 Kosovo’s Thaci Announces Post-War Reconciliation Commission

President Hashim Thaci announced a new Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which he said was intended to encourage mutual forgiveness among Kosovo’s Albanians and Serbs.

mitrovica-bridge-still-dividing-instead-of-uniting-kosovo-02-12-2017 Interview 13 Feb 17 Mitrovica Bridge Still Dividing Instead of Uniting Kosovo

Kosovo, Serbian and international actors are going from one mistake to another as they try to resolve the issue of the infamous bridge in Mitrovica, Nexhmedin Spahiu says.

mayor-of-presevo-disapproving-territories-exchange-proposal-02-06-2017 interview 07 Feb 17 Presevo Mayor: Territorial Swap Would Destabilise Balkans

The mayor of Serbia's predominantly ethnic Albanian town of Presevo dismissed a US Congressman's idea of swapping mainly Albanian parts of southern Serbia for the Serb-populated part of northern Kosovo.

kosovo-serbs-already-got-used-to-belgrade-s-political-provocations-02-03-2017 news 03 Feb 17 Vucic Blames Kosovo, EU for Spike in Tensions

Serbia's Prime Minister said he had appealed to Kosovo Serb leaders to calm tensions in northern Kosovo, but locals say Belgrade holds a fair share in spike of strains.

government-unclear-on-its-plans-according-to-wall-in-north-kosovo-01-30-2017 news 31 Jan 17 Kosovo Hesitates to Demolish Serb Wall In North

Kosovo's government has yet to clarify its likely course towards the wall erected by the Serb authorities in the divided northern town of Mitrovica, despite a parliamentary resolution ordering its removal by the end of the month.

russian-experts-dismiss-putin-trump-deal-on-kosovo-01-25-2017 News 25 Jan 17 Russian Experts Dismiss Putin-Trump Kosovo Deal

Russian analysts have dismissed suggestions that Moscow might recognise Kosovo's independence as a wider deal with the US, saying Russia would never betray its ally Serbia.

kosovo-eyes-territory-measurement-amid-border-uncertainties-01-24-2017 news 25 Jan 17 Kosovo to Map Territory Amid Border Uncertainties

The Kosovo government is aiming to map the country’s territory precisely for the first time, nine years after declaring independence, following a political dispute over a border agreement with Montenegro.