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Tadic: French support key for Serbia's EU integration

07. April 2011. | 05:25

Source: Tanjug

Serbian President Boris Tadic said in Paris on Wednesday that Serbia is a modern country determined to find its place in the EU and that French support was key for that process.

Serbian President Boris Tadic said in Paris on Wednesday that Serbia is a modern country determined to find its place in the EU and that French support was key for that process.

France was crucial in modernizing the Serbian society after the democratic changes in 2000, he said, adding that he expected Serbia to get EU candidate status by the end of the year.

Serbia's EU integration would be faster with better support from within the union, he remarked.

He hopes there will be no special conditions for Serbia to join the EU and believes the EU needs Serbia.

The country has shown that it can fight organized crime and have good relations outside Europe, the president stressed, adding that Serbia is an important factor of stability in the Western Balkans.

"There can be no long-term stability, sustainable development and predictable future in the region without a stable Serbia," he stated.

The relations in southeastern Europe are currently the best they have been in the last 20 years, he argued.

Cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) is a priority for Serbia, he pointed out.

"We are doing everything to find and arrest Ratko Mladic and Goran Hadzic and expect the same approach and an independent investigation led by the UN when it comes to human organ trafficking in Kosovo and Albania, where most of the victims were Serbs," he emphasized.

Belgrade will never recognize Kosovo's independence, but wants a sustainable solution for Kosovo and reconciliation with the Kosovo Albanians.

It is no solution to take everything from one side and give it to the other," he noted. The Serbs in northern Kosovo do not wish to live in an independent Kosovo, while the Kosovo Albanians do not want to be a part of Serbia.

Serbia supports the territorial integrity of Bosnia-Herzegovina, its two political entities and three constitutional nations, he asserted, adding that solutions for that country cannot be imposed from outside.

Serbia and France linked by historical strategic relations

Serbian President Boris Tadic said in Paris Wednesday that France and Serbia have been linked by historical strategic relations and that those would form the foundation for the French-Serbian relaltions in the 21st century.

Addressing students and guests at the French Military Academy, Tadic spoke about historical relations between the two countries, noting that the 1789 French Revolution set a system of values in Europe and that the 184 First Serbian Uprising represented a kind of a French revolution in the Balkans.

He pointed out that Serbia had been fighting for democracy and independence in the 19th century, adding that members of the Serbian elite had been taking their education in Paris at that time.

The Serbian president recalled that the current year would mark 100 years since King Petar I Karadjordjevic visited France, renewing the two countries cooperation.

Tadic also pointed out that World War I had forged a brotherhood between French and Serbian troops and that they had been sharing common values of freedom and democracy, adding that in the period between the two world wars, the alliance with France was the foundation stone for the foreign policy of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

Tadic recalled that the first victims of fascism in Europe during this period, more precisely in 1934, were Yugoslav King Alesander and French Foreign Minister Louis Barthou, who were assassinated in Marseille.

Tadic: Vucurevic case is example of functioning of legal state

Serbian President Boris Tadic assessed that the arrest of war-time mayor of Trebinje Bozidar Vucurevic on the border between Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) is an example of the functioning of legal state.

Vucurevic was arrested in Serbia on Monday on an international warrant issued by Croatia for crimes related to the artillery attack on Dubrovnik. The Sabac District Court remanded Vucurevic in 18-day extradition detention.

“The functioning of the legal state seems to come across as strange to us and it apparently surprises us all over again every time. It (legal state) implies that all grounded cases should be prosecuted while those in which there is no evidence or whose indictment or procedure contain an error should not be prosecuted. We are a country that respects the international legal system. Mr Vucurevic is a foreign citizen, he was arrested on the administrative border on an arrest warrant, and this constitutes a clear example of the functioning of legal state,” Tadic said in an interview for the Thursday edition of the Belgrade-based daily Vecernje Novosti.

Commenting on the statement that the public tends to react in rather negative ways to the fact that people wanted by Serbia are easily released (starting with member of BiH wartime presidency Ejup Ganic, Croatian war veteran Tomislav Purda, up to the case of former general of the BiH Army Jovan Divjak) while Serbs get extradited and tried in other countries, Tadic said that legal state functioned in all such cases.

“It was also the case in the instances you mentioned. There must be evidence for all (such cases) so that the court could pass an adequate verdict. Otherwise, we would have a discretionary right to try everyone without evidence,” he added.


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