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Tadic: Serbia will not allow the so-called state of Kosovo become a UN member

27. July 2010. | 07:51 08:32

Source: EMGportal, Infobiro.tv

During a break at the Serbian parliament extraordinary session dedicated to the policy towards Kosovo after the opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Tadic said that Kosovo cannot become a UN member without Serbia's consent, adding that sooner or later the representatives of ethnic Albanians would have to sit down and discuss the issue with Serbia.

The Serbian parliament opened an extraordinary session at 12 p.m. which was to table only one issue - government's draft resolution on Kosovo.

The session has been  attended by 215 out of 250 MPs, who  discussed  the draft resolution which calls for negotiations that would lead to a lasting solution and historical reconciliation between Serbs and ethnic Albanians.

President Tadic, Prime Minister Cvetkovic, all members of the government and Head of Serbia's legal team before the ICJ Dusan Batakovic arrived at the National Assembly House at noon.

The session was preceded by thirty-minute meeting with parliamentary groups, which was attended by the whips and their deputies.

The government's draft resolution calls for national unity and announces that all available diplomatic and political means will be used to preserve Serbia's territorial integrity.

In a marathon session of Serbia Parliament dedicated to policy concerning Kosovo after opinion given by the International Court of Justice, Serbia Government got support by a part of the opposition as well. The DSS and LDP deputies were against while deputies of the SRS said they would vote for continuation of struggle for Kosovo. The SNS said they ‘shall not be against interests of the citizens’.

Nevertheless, opposition deputies took the opportunity to request responsibility of the state team for the failure before the ICJ claiming that after that decision all moves at the UN General Assembly are risky.

Serbian President Boris Tadic said that Serbia will continue fighting for Kosovo, but will not give up on the membership in the European Union.

The Serbian president said that the Kosovo issue was once again transferred from the legal to the political field, and that Serbia wished to submit a resolution to the UN General Assembly that would lead to a compromise solution, rather than exacerbate the problem.

During a break at the Serbian parliament extraordinary session dedicated to the policy towards Kosovo after the opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Tadic said that Kosovo cannot become a UN member without Serbia's consent, adding that sooner or later the representatives of ethnic Albanians would have to sit down and discuss the issue with Serbia.

Serbia will not recognize Kosovo's independence and the Serbian government, parliament and the president are required to respect the Constitution, which they certainly will do, Tadic said.

He stressed that no one can prevent Serbia from using all legitimate means to defend its integrity.

"We are doing our best to reach a compromise solution, which means that it should not be possible for one party to get everything while the other loses everything," the Serbian president said.

Tadic assessed that the Monday parliamentary debate was "a constructive and democratic one, unlike most of the discussions in the past 15 years," adding that such debates help the state institutions defend the country's integrity after the ICJ opinion.

Tadic noted that the parliament debate displayed the maturity of the society and its political parties, since they have shown willingness to approach this most important and difficult of national issues in a planned and balanced way.

The president stated that Serbia would start more initiatives to prevent ethnically motivated secession, because they could lead to more instability.

According to Tadic, Serbia will continue its fight, even in the difficult circumstances caused by the ICJ decision. He stated that new diplomatic activities based on new ideas could be undertaken.

Tadic said that Serbia's resolution, currently under construction, would allow for new choices in defending the country's territorial integrity, but added that it would never threaten the country's EU integration or peace policy.

The president stated that the parliament has never reached a consensus on Kosovo, adding that a national unity act would definitely be beneficial, since it would give more weight to Serbia's arguments in the UN and other international institutions.

The elections will be held in 2012, as provided by law, Tadic said.

Tadic said that Serbia has not lost all chances and that there is room for manoeuvre, especially in the UN General Assembly, to continue to fight for the preservation of Kosovo-Metohija.

He also confirmed that Serbia will not allow “the so-called state of Kosovo become a UN member.”

Commenting on whether the countries recognising the independence of Kosovo should be sued, Tadic said he does not believe that this would help Serbia and added that this could put Serbia in a high risk.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Vuk Jeremic announced that Serbia’s diplomatic activity in the near future will be directed at preventing new recognitions of the unilaterally proclaimed independence of Kosovo-Metohija.

Speaking at the extraordinary session of the Serbian parliament Jeremic said that after the ICJ passed its opinion, Serbia’s position has become even more difficult because 55 countries are on the verge of recognising Kosovo’s independence, but the Serbian government is doing everything to reduce this number to a minimum.

He reiterated that the ICJ left the political decision on Kosovo Albanians’ right to secession to be debated in the UN General Assembly.

Our diplomatic activity in the near future will be directed at preventing further recognitions, the Minister confirmed and added that the task of state bodies will be to win a majority in the UN General Assembly for Serbia’s resolution after which it will be clear that the ICJ has not given the right to Kosovo Albanians to secede from Serbia.

The Minister explained that in February 2008, when Kosovo one-sidedly proclaimed independence, Serbia had to choose between establishing the state of facts, or defending its constitutional order with armed forces like all sovereign states.

We opted for a third path and this is the use of legal and diplomatic means and addressing the ICJ. We decided not to sue countries that recognised Kosovo and now we see that the ICJ would have proclaimed itself incompetent in this matter, Jeremic observed.

He illustrated that such prosecution would have had legal consequences and this is why Serbian authorities decided not to do it.

Jeremic underlined that as long as the Serbian Constitution is in force, Serbia cannot desist from preserving its territorial integrity. He added that this is a very difficult moment for Serbia and that it is necessary to remain calm, but determined as well.

The Minister pointed out that Serbia still believes that the unilateral proclamation of Kosovo’s independence violates international law and that Kosovo Albanians did not have the right to secession.

As for the question Serbia posed to the ICJ, he highlighted that asking the court any other question would create room for declaring Kosovo a sui generis case, ie a unique one.

Today everyone’s eyes are focused on Serbia, therefore it is crucial for us to be united and, regardless of political arguments, reach a final conclusion with a unanimous stance, Jeremic concluded.

He maintained that Serbia is faced with a choice of whether to continue with a policy of strict adherence to the respect of sovereignty and territorial integrity in its struggle for Kosovo, using all legal, political and diplomatic means.

The government proposes the adoption of a declaration to affirm this policy in order to reach a peaceful, lasting and sustainable solution through talks, in line with the Serbian constitution, which will enable historic reconciliation between the Serbian and Albanian people and peace and stability in the region, the Minister declared.

Head of the Serbian legal team at the ICJ Dusan Batakovic remarked that by declaring its advisory opinion, the court did not close the door on Serbia’s new political and diplomatic activities, aimed at preserving its territorial integrity and sovereignty.

He stressed that the ICJ tried to find a way out of an uncomfortable political situation and therefore treated the issue of independence declaration as a legal instrument, disregarding the issue of the right to secession and the consequences of this act.

This led to the essential part of the question – is the unilateral declaration of independence in line with international law – being returned to the UN General Assembly, Batakovic explained.

This outcome is a legal failure for Serbia because it did not receive assistance from the ICJ in a situation where international law was breached at Serbia’s expense, Batakovic noted, adding that conducting this case at the ICJ was important for Serbia because it halted the wave of recognitions of the province’s independence.

Batakovic recalled that Serbia’s legal team presented the stance that Kosovo’s unilaterally declared independence is not in line with international law firstly because the general principle of territorial integrity prevents secession of a portion of a territory of one state without its consent, secondly because Resolution 1244 guarantees Serbia’s territorial integrity and finally because by declaring independence, the negotiation process, the goal of which was to determine the province’s status, was disrupted.

At today’s session the Parliament is debating the government’s proposal which states that the Parliament should speak out on the ICJ’s opinion on the legality of Kosovo’s unilaterally declared independence and the continuation of Serbia’s activities to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The SNS leader Tomislav Nikolic said that the opinion by the ICJ is not a legal failure, but failure of Serbia. He called on Serbia Parliament to vote for amendments filed by the SNS to the proposal made by Serbia Government because he would ‘not like that Serbia is divided after this session’.

The DSS deputy and former Serbian diplomacy chief Slobodan Samardzic
said that ‘the proposal by the Government that Serbia goes with a resolution on Kosovo before the UN General Assembly a suicidal act that the executive power is trying to involve the Parliament in’.

‘It is almost unrealistic that the General Assembly makes decision opposite the ICJ opinion’, Samardzic said and repeated request by that political party that that the Parliament is actively involved in lading of policy towards Kosovo. He also insisted on filing law suits against a country or a group of countries which recognized unilaterally proclaimed independence of Kosovo.


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26. July - 01. August 2010.