Nikolic: I want talks with Albanians to start soon

Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic stated Friday that he had written the draft platform for talks on Kosovo , adding that it was now on ministers in the government to make their suggestions and comments regarding the text, and announced that the state leadership would meet again at the Serbian presidency building next Wednesday to discuss the strategy.

(KosovoCompromiseStuff) Sunday, October 28, 2012

"I would like our talks with ethnic Albanians to start very soon. This has already been hinted by a meeting between Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and prime minister of interim institutions in Pristina Hasim Taci in Brussels. It is good this happened and concrete things should now take place. We should not hesitate, this is all about the status of Kosovo," the Serbian president told the press in Skopje.

Answering a news reporter's question about the details of the platform for talks with Pristina, Nikolic said that the document itself was a state secret, but that the independence of Kosovo was unacceptable and that a new model that already existed in European countries should be found, which would make both sides equally satisfied, that is dissatisfied.
"We should find a new mode or model that exists in European countries for many members of minorities and many states, which might be used in Serbia's case and represent the fulfilment of what the ethnic Albanians would like to have - substantial autonomy, high degree of rights, to receive income, to distribute the incomes themselves, to prosecute, investigate... but at the same time, Serbia must not be deprived of part of its territory," Nikolic stated.

If someone in the EU insisted that Serbia should recognize Kosovo, Nikolic added, this would mean this country did not want Serbia as an EU member.
"It is unacceptable that EU officials in Belgrade say they are status neutral and then demand that Kosovo be in one piece and Serbia be a good neighbour to it, which means they see Kosovo as a country. Serbia will never see Kosovo as a country, and in the next 100 years, no man will be born to be able to win an election in Serbia by saying he will recognize Kosovo's independence," the president stated.

According to Nikolic, Serbia is prepared to work hard on the Kosovo issue, because it does not want to waste time. "We should finally know where we stand. Serbia has met all the requirements to get the date for the talks. Let us see if there are additional requirements that have not been mentioned," he said, alluding that there would always be more.
"If there were no Kosovo, Serbia would have been in the talks a long time ago. This way, we are left to manage the country as we have so far and hope that we will be an EU member and that we are not wasting time, but cooperating with friends around the world, because economy is the only politics nowadays," he said.

Commenting on questions about Serbia's possible turn towards the east, he said he made no difference between the capital coming from the east or the west, adding that Serbia wanted cooperation with everyone.
"I said in the campaign that if I won, Serbia will be a house with 2 doors, one in the east and one in the west, and that everyone will want it, and that is how it is going to be," he stressed.

Serbia is starting a new chapter in the relations with Macedonia, with which it has no qualms anymore, but only things that bring them together.

Serbia will solve the Kosovo issue, he said, adding that he hoped Macedonia would be able to settle the issue with its name with Greece, as both were Serbia's friends, said Nikolic in comment to the obstacles in the two countries' EU integration.
"One has recognized Kosovo and the other has not. Both are friendly countries and insist on their pride, but the problem will not be solved until they sit down to discuss it. Serbia is not a mediator and cannot help, but it regrets that two of its friends have issues," Nikolic noted, adding that the only thing certain was that no one should be blackmailed.

In that sense, telling Serbia to choose between Kosovo and the EU is like telling a man to choose which child to give up, he pointed out.
"We will try to solve the problem, but we will not back down, and whether Greece or Macedonia will back down is something you should check with them," Nikolic said.