Serbia wants Albanian organ trade inquiry
Tadic thanked PACE for adopting the report and making the first important step towards the truth about what really happened in secret detention facilities ran by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and for taking a neutral stance regarding Kosovo. “I would urge you to continue this policy of avoiding divisive debates on controversial matters, including the potential application for membership for Kosovo,” Tadic said in his PACE address.
Serbia’s stand on Kosovo is well known, and Belgrade will not recognize its province’s unilaterally declared independence, Tadic asserted, adding that the Serbian delegation for the talks with Kosovo has been ready for months now.
The sooner the discussions with Kosovo begin, the sooner will Serbia and Kosovo be able to move forward towards a historical reconciliation between the Serbs and Albanians, Tadic remarked, appealing to all sides to be creative.
Commenting on Marty’s report, Tadic stressed that the allegations made in it should not be swept under the carpet.
Tadic quoted the report in saying that the KLA has been involved in drug, weapons and human trafficking since 1998 and that the so called Drenica Group was the most responsible for what happened to hundreds of ethnic Serbs and Albanians who were kidnapped by the KLA.
Much has been done since the democratic changes in Serbia from October 5, 2000, which is why the next decade is viewed with optimism, he noted.
According to Tadic, the greatest challenges for Serbia, the region and Europe in the coming decade include meeting the EU standards so Serbia and the region could be integrated as soon as possible, the completion of the reconciliation process in the Balkans and finally measures against “those who want to abuse democracy and our economies.”
“Our strategic objective is to join the European Union,” the president stated. “In a few days, the Prime Minister of Serbia will submit our answers to the questionnaire of the European Commission. Thereafter, we hope that we will be able to proceed towards candidacy and the opening of accession negotiations,” he continued.
Tadic drew attention to the improvement in relations with Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, citing his meeting with Josipovic in Vukovar as a great help in the reconciliation process.
“It is our purpose in Serbia to promote harmony – within our society, among our societies in the region and between the EU and the region,” the president pointed out, adding that the relations in the region are at their highest level in the last 20 years.
The policy of reconciliation is a priority because it poses a strategic and moral imperative, he asserted. That is why Serbia will continue to cooperate fully with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the president noted.
“We will keep working on locating, arresting and extraditing the two remaining fugitive indictees, including Ratko Mladic, as we have with 44 others over the past few years,” he emphasized.
The president feels that organized crime is among the greatest threats to peace, security and progress in the region. Organized crime is a serious threat to society and the economy, he argued, advocating a strategic alliance between the countries of the region in combating that plague. PACE members were mostly interested in the situation in the region and issues regarding Kosovo.
Speaking about Marty’s report, Tadic stated that all war crimes in the region should be investigated, not just those in Kosovo. All reports are beneficial in that sense and help establish better relations in the Balkans, he explained.
Serbia will do everything to investigate war crimes and find the two remaining ICTY fugitives, said Tadic, who hopes that other governments will also do their best to investigate the events of the past two decades. The region’s future lies within the EU and the relations in the Balkans are at their highest point in the past 20 years, he reiterated in conclusion.
January 27, 2011