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Belgrade to continue dialogue with European institutions

27. August 2011. | 08:29

Source: Tanjug

Serbian President Boris Tadic said Friday Serbia had a legitimate right to become a member of the EU and Belgrade would continue the dialogue with European institution.

Serbian President Boris Tadic said Friday Serbia had a legitimate right to become a member of the EU and Belgrade would continue the dialogue with European institution.

"It is our interest and we cannot give up that right and the interest of our people because of the great difficulties we face," he told Tanjug in an interview.

The president criticized all Serbian politicians who want the country to give up on its EU integration after this week's visit by Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and who claim that they have always said the EU would set impossible requirements for Serbia.

"If we were to quit now, we would be doing the greatest of favours to those who mean harm to Serbia and its people,"Tadic explained.

"We have a legitimate and natural right to become a member of the EU. It is our interest and we cannot give up that right and the interest of our people because of the great difficulties we face. We will continue the dialogue with European institutions," he stressed.

Tadic says he presented his views openly during the meeting with Merkel because Serbia needs to be seen as a credible country that has no secret agenda.

"We are a predictable partner and our German partners know what Serbia thinks and how it is going to behave in the future," Tadic remarked.

Germany has a dominant role in European politics nowadays and that has to be taken seriously because the Serbian people have opted for EU integration, he pointed out.

"Serbia cannot bring a new conflict into the EU. We wish to be a factor of development and stability in Europe and that is what we do," said Tadic.

He called on the people to support the efforts aimed at both the EU integration and preservation of Serbia's dignity and its people's identity and existence in Kosovo.

No one can accuse the current government in Belgrade of nationalism and thereby challenge Serbia's EU ambitions, but such accusations could be directed at some other governments in the region, he said.

"I as the president would never allow myself to commend those accused or convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, because those convicted by the tribunal have done a lot against civilization. If you are a democrat, it is impossible to praise people who stand accused of crimes against humanity," Tadic underlined.

He is disappointed by the fact that the EU did not react to such statements by Croatian government officials and said he pointed that out during the meeting with Merkel. He also told Merkel he was displeased that ten months had passed in waiting for a team to be formed which would investigate the allegations of top Kosovo officials' involvement in trafficking organs taken from kidnapped Serbs.

He commented on Croatia's Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor's visit to Pristina and statements given in the presence of Kosovo's Prime Minister Hasim Taci by saying that her non-European behaviour, praises to war criminals and the visit to Kosovo could not possibly improve the relations with Serbia.

"The partnership between Croats and Albanians must not be built at the expense of another, in this case the Serbian people," Tadic noted, adding that Kosor tried to rekindle old conflicts in order to get financial benefits for Croatia.

The Serbian government, on the other hand, unlike some other governments in the region, is consistent in its peaceful and friendly actions towards its neighbours and in trying to get the Balkans to move forward and respect the interest of all nations, Tadic stated.

"I stress once again that we wish well to all nations, Albanians included, because Serbia has wronged the Albanian people in the past, just like the Albanian institutions in Kosovo have wronged the Serbs," he concluded.

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