Serbia President Slaps Down Kosovo’s UN Bid

Tomslav Nikolic says Serbia has no intention of allowing Kosovo to obtain a seat at the United Nations.Speaking on Wednesday, President Nikolic said that Serbia would not allow Kosovo to join UN and the issue would stay off the table at upcoming EU-led Belgrade-Pristina talks.

“If it was acceptable, I would have written that into the [Serbian government’s recently adopted] platform and resolution [on Kosovo],” he said.

“The platform lays down that Serbia will never accept Kosovo’s independence, and by that, we mean never to accept Kosovo joining the UN,” Nikolic added.

The Serbian government formally adopted its political platform on Kosovo on January 9.

It demands a high level of territorial and political autonomy for Serbian municipalities throughout Kosovo, including their own police and judiciary.

On Wednesday, Hashim Thaci, Kosovo’s Prime Minister, said a day before his fourth meeting with his Serbian counterpart that one aim of the EU-mediated talks was for Kosovo to get a United Nations seat.

“Kosovo expects at the end of this process of normalization of relationship with Serbia to obtain membership of the UN and other international institutions,” he said.

Serbia’s Prime Minister, Ivica Dacic, has not specified his agenda in the upcoming talks but has said that his country aims at a “comprehensive” settlement with and on Kosovo.

“We can agree on everything,” Dacic told reporters.

“We are seeking a comprehensive settlement, but for that to happen, something has to be given,” he added.

“They [Kosovo] are pressuring us through the European Union, and we’re not letting them into the United Nations. Are we supposed to go on sparring like that for years?” he asked.

So far, 97 UN member states, including 22 EU countries and the US, have recognized Kosovo since it declared independence in 2008.

At their meeting in Brussels on January 17, Maja Kocijancic, spokesperson of the EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, told Balkan Insight that the two statesman will firstly discuss implementation of previously reached agreements.

The Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, launched in March 2011, has since resulted in agreements on border management, as well as on Kosovo’s representation at regional meetings, university diplomas and trade.

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