Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Second Sitting of the Committee on Kosovo-Metohija

At the sitting held on 30 October, the members of the Committee on Kosovo-Metohija were briefed on the course of the dialogue with the provisional institutions of self-government in Pristina so far.

Foreign Minister Ivan Mrkic reminded the Committee of the activities Serbia employs at the international level to prevent Kosovo from entering the ranks of sovereign states and its further recognition. The Ministry endorses the activities of Serbia’s negotiating team and will defend Serbia’s interests by all means necessary.
Aleksandar Vulin, Director of the Office for Kosovo-Metohija, drew attention to the difficult situation of the Serbs living in the north of Kosovo-Metohija, characterised by frequent violence and murders, illegal arrests, attacks on property and limited movement, resulting from the increased pressure on the eve of negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina.
Marko Djuric, Advisor to the Serbian President, said that the platform on Kosovo-Metohija is at the moment classified as state secret, but none of the principles for the conduction of negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina would be hidden from the public. He stressed that the Serbian National Assembly and the public would have the opportunity to learn about all the key parameters and principles related to the future negotiations.
Djuric deemed the continuation of the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina mutually important for the further integration of the entire region into the European Union, adding that national and state interests would be the starting point, and no concessions would be made at the detriment of state sovereignty.
Dejan Pavicevic, Director of the Office for Expert and Operational Tasks in the negotiating process, informed the Committee members on the extent of the application of the concluded agreements and treaties.
The Committee members opined that Serbia has to pursue an active policy and prevent certain activities which might put it at a disadvantage in the negotiating process. Asking about the content of the new platform on Kosovo-Metohija, they highlighted as most important whether the platform would formulate a new policy toward the Province or it would strive to "freeze and not resolve the conflict”.
The Committee members pointed out that the international community is putting additional pressure on Serbia to recognise the independence of Kosovo, and that the visits by the highest European dignitaries steer in that direction.
The Committee members decided, by a majority of votes, to send a proposal to the National Assembly to form a board of inquiry to investigate all illicit activities related to spending of budgetary funds for purposes other than those designated in Kosovo-Metohija from 2000 to date.
The Committee concluded that, in future, all of its sittings should be recorded and documented in shorthand.
The sitting was chaired by Milovan Drecun, Committee Chairman.

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