Serbia rejects brokered Kosovo deal, begs for time
BELGRADE, Serbia — Serbia rejected on Monday a European Union-brokered deal for reconciliation with its former province of Kosovo — a defiant move that could jeopardize the Balkan country's EU membership aspirations and fuel tensions in the region.
The EU had given Serbia until on Tuesday to say whether it would relinquish its effective control over northern Kosovo in exchange for the start of membership negotiations.
Even before the rejection, a top leader had said the plan is unacceptable because it does not give more autonomy to minority ethnic Serbs in Kosovo who, together with Serbia, reject Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence.
“The Serbian government cannot accept the proposed principles ... because they do not guarantee full security, survival and protection of human rights for the Serbs in Kosovo,” Prime Minister Ivica Dacic said. “Such an agreement could not be implemented and would not lead to a lasting and sustainable solution.”
Catherine Ashton, the EU's foreign policy chief, said after the eighth round of talks between Serbian and Kosovo officials last week in Brussels that she wanted a response from both sides and that the bloc's mediation was over.
Despite warnings that there will be no more EU-sponsored mediation, Vucic and the government called for more talks with the rival ethnic Albanian leaders of Kosovo.
“If there is a negative answer from (the EU), that would be bad news for Serbia, Kosovo and the EU,” Vucic said.
In a statement issued after Serbia's rejection, Ashton called on Belgrade “to make a last effort to reach an agreement.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Upscale Baghdad hotels bombed
- Chinese artillery spotted on artificial island
- Islamic State group claims Shiite mosque blast in Saudi Arabia
- Nigerian president brightens hope
- Motivated Syrian Kurds take fight to ISIS in contrast to failures of Iraqi army
- Gunmen hijack buses in Pakistan, kill passengers
- Blatter wins re-election despite FIFA corruption scandal
- Army commando team kills senior Islamic State official in Syria raid
- Islamic State terrorists tighten grip on Ramadi, Iraq, execute opponents
- Burundi opposition figure Feruzi shot dead in capital
- New parties shake up politics around Spain