Serbia: DSS suggests chilling ties with all that recognize Kosovo independence
BBC Monitoring Europe (Political) - January 31, 2007 Wednesday

Text of report by N.M. Jovanovic and I. Cvetkovic: "DSS: Suspend relations with everyone who recognizes Kosovo" by Serbian newspaper Blic on 31 January

The Democratic Party of Serbia [DSS] proposes to chill relations with all countries - especially members of NATO, that recognize any form of independence of Kosovo-Metohija [Kosmet], says a proposal that a delegation headed by Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica forwarded to Serbian President Boris Tadic yesterday, Blic has learned from a source close to the Serbian government.

Our source said that this practically meant Kostunica proposed to break off diplomatic ties with every country that recognized any form of Kosmet's independence. The platform also said that if the solution for Kosmet was imposed, a clear stance should be assumed on further integration with NATO.

This is the basic platform which the DSS submitted for talks on the new government and set as a condition for the formation of the new government. The DSS asked that Tadic respond to its proposal as soon as possible.

Tadic's office released a statement following consultations with the DS and NS [New Serbia] to the effect that the populist coalition had conveyed its platform on Kosovo as a "prerequisite for the formation of the government" and that it anticipated a "possible response by Serbia in the event of an imposed solution on for the future status of Kosovo."

In response to the DSS-NS stance on the need for national principles on Kosovo before the new government was formed, G17 Plus leader Mladjan Dinkic said a national platform had been established by the assembly last year and that if the DSS believed it should be altered in any way, it should propose such a change.

"The G17 Plus believes that it is possible to seek a compromise on the final status of Kosovo, of course in a peaceful way," said Dinkic and added that the party shared Tadic's view on the matter.

However, the dilemma on whether Serbia has a negotiating team is still outstanding. For Tadic, co-chairman of the team, there is a team, whereas the DSS and government believe that the team should share the government's destiny and act as if it were outgoing.

Blic was told in Tadic's office that the negotiating team existed and that consultations were in progress between Tadic and Kostunica - the other co-chairman, on scheduling a new meeting of the team. Kostunica's office denied this.

The government believes that the members it appointed "in keeping with the law cannot take part in the work of the negotiating team until the formation of the new government."

[Box] Djuric: Ahtisaari likes to experiment on Serbia

Srdjan Djuric, head of the government office for cooperation with media, yesterday asked special UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari to explain why he was presenting Belgrade with a solution to the status of Kosovo before the new government was formed. "Ahtisaari is consistent in two things: experimenting with Serbia, creating precedents and persisting in avoiding to explain why he does so," he said.

Source: Blic, Belgrade, in Serbian 31 Jan 07

Copyright 2007 British Broadcasting Corporation
Posted for Fair Use only.