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news 11 Oct 13

Serbian-Albanian Leader Claims PM Threatened Him

The head of the ethnic Albanian Movement for Democratic Progress party, Jonuz Musliu,  accused Serbian premier Ivica Dacic of threatening him during a meeting in Belgrade.

Beta, BIRN

Musliu said that Prime Minister Dacic had threatened him when he asked for ethnic Albanians in southern Serbia to be included in the EU-led talks on normalising relations with Kosovo.

"Dacic lost control and started behaving like [former Serbian strongman Slobodan] Milosevic," Musliu told Pristina-based Albanian-language daily Epoka e Re on Friday.

Musliu accused Dacic of speaking in the same way as Milosevic's allies did in the 1990s.

"I told him that although I was in a Serbian government building in Belgrade, he could arrest me, but not scare me," he said.

The ethnic Albanian politician is a former representative of the now-disbanded Liberation Army of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja, a force which was involved in the conflict between Serbs and ethnic Albanians in south Serbia in 2001.

He said that meetings between Dacic and Serbia's ethnic Albanian leaders would fail "in the absence of international mediation", and called for international oversight of the next round of talks.

Musliu accused Dacic of not being interested in solving problems in the South Serbia region.

South Serbia, also known as the Presevo Valley,  is home to around 50,000 Albanians.

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