Dacic talks EU negotiations date, Kosovo agreements

Eight EU countries have supported the idea to give Serbia a "conditional date for the start of EU talks as soon as possible, perhaps even in March".

(KosovoCompromiseStuff) Sunday, November 11, 2012

This is according to Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dačić, who told Belgrade TV that the meeting on Thursday was called on the initiative of Italy and Sweden.

He said the reason for the initiative was Serbia's constructive approach, and that while he was unsure whether it would prove successful, "it is certainly a step forward compared to the atmosphere and the pressure that we have had in the previous years".

Dacic also announced a new meeting with Hashim Thaci in the first half of December, before the EU Council meets.

He noted that the previous government had "initialed" an agreement on integrated management of crossings between Kosovo and central Serbia, and described it as "difficult". As for his government, Dacic said it "understood the objections of the citizens themselves, from Serbs in Kosovo , but had no choice", as it must implement what the previous government "signed".

According to him, this agreement will first be implemented at two temporary crossings, "in containers, without permanently built structures".

Dacic stated that it was "important to define the executive role of EULEX, and who would collect the income", which he said he told Thaci "should go to the north where Serbs live".

As for the role of the EU mission, the prime minister believes it is important " n order not to bring up the status issue on the agenda,regardless of the fact our representatives and those of the interim institutions in Pristina will be also present".

Dacic also believes that Serbia is not changing its position regarding the status of Kosovo , and that it can "make moves within what the previous government had singed, or discard it all, which would set us several steps back".

Dacic noted that he was a part of the ruling coalition that went to war over Kosovo, and asserted that for that reason, nobody can say he is not nationalistic or patriotic enough. Serbia wishes to discuss essential issues of status and in this constructive approach, and "nobody can expect the prime minister of Serbia to accept an independent Kosovo", he said.

Asked whether the Belgrade city authorities led by the Democrats (DS) would be replaced by a new coalition, the leader of the Socialists (SPS) said this was "a possible option", but, according to him, "it had not been discussed".

Dacic also serves as interior minister in his own cabinet, and announced that candidates will be invited to apply for the job of police director next week, while the case of wiretapping of top state officials "will be taken into account when replacements are made within the MUP".