Deputy PM and Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said on Friday that “the fact that Pristina did not receive support for Interpol membership and withdrew their candidacy is the result of Serbia’s diplomatic activity which had lasted for several months prior”.
Kosovo’s possible membership in Interpol would lead to the issuing of Interpol notices against a large number of Serbian police officers and soldiers who took part in the operations in 1998 and 1999, whom Serbia would then be asked to extradite, he said.
“We undertook a huge diplomatic activity. We had big support from China and Russia. Pristina saw that it did not have enough support and gave up on the candidacy, thus Serbia scored a diplomatic victory,” Stefanovic told RTS.
He stressed that another important success was achieved at the recent Interpol General Assembly in Beijing -namely, a resolution adopted by the Interpol Executive Committee that clearly defines criteria for membership in the organization.
As for the next step of Pristina – which is to try to join UNESCO – Stefanovic said it was still unknown whether they would apply.
“But I know how much effort the (Serbian) president and the foreign minister have invested in explaining to Serbian partners how wrong of a move that would be,” he said.
“If you have a responsible policy towards the (Kosovo) negotiations in Brussels, then you must stop with constant pressure on Serbia,” Stefanovic said, adding that Serbia “stands firm in defending its national interests and has so far been successful in that.”
In other news, Kosovo’s president, Hashim Thaci, said U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has pledged that the United States will be directly involved in reaching a final agreement to normalize relations between Kosovo and Serbia.
Thaci told VOA’s Albanian service after meeting with Pence on Friday at the White House that “Pence will be focused and maximally involved” in reaching a deal between the two countries.
“I believe that this willingness of the U.S. administration and personally of Vice President Pence is a guarantee for the success of this process,” Thaci said.
He said he is confident the process will “lead Kosovo into a final agreement of normalization and reconciliation of Kosovo-Serbia relations and would open prospects for Kosovo’s integration into the United Nations.”
A White House statement Friday said Pence “expressed appreciation for Thaci’s leadership, along with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, to advance the EU-facilitated dialog to normalize relations between Kosovo and Serbia.”
(B92, Voice of America, 29.09.2017)
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