Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Seventh Extraordinary Sitting of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia in 2007

At the request of 127 Members of Parliament, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Oliver Dulic, convened the Seventh Extraordinary Sitting of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia in 2007, for Tuesday, 24 July. The sitting will begin at 4.p.m.


The request for holding the Seventh Extraordinary Sitting specifies the following agenda:

1. Discussing the Report of the State Negotiating Team for Kosovo-Metohija on the negotiations conducted in Vienna from 21 February to 2 March 2007, with the Proposal of the Resolution of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia on the need for a just solution of the issue of the Autonomous Province of Kosovo-Metohija, based on international law, submitted by the Government.

The sitting, held at the National Assembly House, was attended by the President of the Republic of Serbia, Boris Tadic, Prime Minister, Dr Vojislav Kostunica, Minister for Kosovo-Metohija in the Government of the Republic of Serbia, Dr Slobodan Samardzic and Ministers of the Government of the Republic of Serbia.

The Members of Parliament were first addressed by the President of the Republic of Serbia, Boris Tadic. Reminding them that a year and a half has passed since the beginning of the Vienna negotiation on the future status of Kosovo-Metohija, Tadic stated that, defending state sovereignty and territorial integrity, the Serbian Negotiating Team offered a model of decentralisation, based on European solutions, which would protect the interest of the endangered Serbian community in the province and other, non-Albanian ethnic communities. Tadic emphasised that the unique state policy on the solution of the Kosovo issue brought Serbia adequate support in the international community, among certain members of EU, but above all in Russia, whose efforts to keep the tenets of international law, made the new negotiations possible without setting deadlines and predefining the result. According to him, this Assembly resolution should state that in the negotiations on the future status of Kosovo-Metohija Serbia defined a unique state position and that all state institutions should support this document, sending a significant message to the international political elements.

The Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic Serbia, Vojislav Kostunica, stated in his address to the Members of Parliament that the new negotiations on the future arrangement of Kosovo-Metohija can be conducted solely under the mandate of the Security Council and that Resolution 1244 is the only possible basis for the negotiations. He reiterated that the recent withdrawal of the American-European Resolution from the Defense Council represents a significant victory for Serbia which concludes the first stage of the defense of Kosovo-Metohija. Serbia expects the Contact Group to be active, but also to have the whole negotiating process under the clear mandate of the Defense Council, said the Prime Minister adding that the problem should be clearly defined within the process. Commenting on the threats received from the Albanian separatist, the Prime Minister said that Serbia will reject all resolutions of a unilateral proclamation of independence of Kosovo-Metohija. Stating that he cannot discount the possibility that a number of countries might acknowledge the unilateral independence of Kosovo, he added that those countries must be aware that acknowledging the independence, disregarding the UN, would undermine both the foundations of the organisation and international order. Kostunica emphasised that today in its National Assembly Serbia is confirming that Kosovo-Metohija is built into the deepest foundations of the Serbian state and that Kosovo is the collective name of Serbia’s national being, culture, faith, history and future. He called upon the Members of Parliament to support the proposed resolution which gives the guidelines for the future Serbian politics in the process of resolving the future arrangement of the southern Serbian province.

In his address to the Members of Parliament the Minister for Kosovo-Metohija, Slobodan Samardzic stated that it is very important that the Government’s Draft Resolution is adopted so as to set the guidelines and framework for the continuation of the negotiations on the status of Kosovo. He stressed that the majority of votes which brings this resolution is not unimportant, because, according to him, it is not solely a Government or Party matter, but a key issue which is why all Deputy Groups are consulted. Adopting a new resolution should sound the beginning of a new stage of negotiations and be the key guide point to all state organs and the Negotiating Team as well as a binding framework for activities, Samardzic said. He reiterated that Serbia wants a compromise, peace and reconciliation, that it asks for nothing that does not belong to every other state, and that in return it offers the highest imaginable degree of self-government.

The Members of Parliament then conducted a unique discussion on the item on the agenda. At the beginning of the discussion Heads of Deputies’ Groups of the Socialist Party of Serbia, Ivica Dacic, Serbian Radical Party, Tomislav Nikolic, Democratic Party, Nada Kolundzija, Democratic Party of Serbia – New Serbia, Milos Aligrudic, G17 Plus, Suzana Grubjesic, Liberal Democratic Party, Cedomir Jovanovic, minorities Deputies’ Group Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians-List for Sandzak-Union of Roma of Serbia-Albanian Coalition of Presevo Valley, Pastor Balint and Deputies’ Group of Vojvodina Deputies of the Social Democratic League of Vojvodina and Union of Hungarians from Vojvodina, Nenad Canak.

After the completion of the unique discussion, the Minister for Kosovo-Metohija, Slobodan Samardzic spoke up stressing the necessity of the new Resolution of the Serbian Assembly on Kosovo for the upcoming new negotiation stage and the need that the state answers the open threat of unilateral acknowledgment of the province’s independence. The resolution is an important step in state politics as it is supposed to hold up the efforts of all state organs to come to a just solution and support the future negotiating team, Minister Samardzic said.

After the completion of the unique discussion, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Oliver Dulic designated 25 July as Voting Day on the only item on the agenda of the Seventh Extraordinary Sitting of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia in 2007.

With 217 votes “for”, 12 “against” and three abstained, the National Assembly adopted the Report of the State negotiating team for Kosovo-Metohija on the negotiations conducted in Vienna from 21 February to 2 March 2007.

With 217 votes “for”, 12 “against” and three abstained, the National Assembly adopted the Proposal of the Resolution of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia on the need for a just solution of the issue of the Autonomous Province of Kosovo-Metohija, based on international law.

After the National Assembly completed the discussion and came to a decision on the only item on the agenda, Speaker Dulic concluded the Seventh Extraordinary Sitting of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia in 2007.



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