Tadic: Need Solid Guarantees on EULEX

10 November 2008 Belgrade - President Boris Tadic says Serbia will not agree to the deployment of EULEX before receiving solid guarantees that Belgrade`s conditions have been fully taken into account.

“We are only at the stage in which our preconditions for the deployment of EULEX are accepted in the statements and formulations of ranking EU officials. However, before we get guarantees on paper, no agreement can be made,” Tadic told the Tanjug news agency in an interview on Sunday.

He said that Belgrade was negotiating the reconfiguration of the civilian presence in Kosovo only with the United Nations and added that these negotiations had not been finished regarding three preconditions for the deployment of EULEX – to have s UN Security Council mandate, to be status-neutral and not to implement the plan of UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari (for Kosovo’s independence).

Tadic explained that Serbia also wanted to see what kind of presence the UN had in Kosovo and what were the competences of the UN representative, because it wanted the UN to guarantee status neutrality and to guarantee that the interests of the Serb and non-Albanian citizens in the province would not be brought into question.

The president added that it is of essential importance for Belgrade to see the UN respect its resolution 1244 in the international reconfiguration process, as the highest international act guaranteeing Serbia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Tadic also said he believed that by putting forward precise demands for EULEX, Belgrade had “ruled out the possibility that the mission’s deployment could one day be interpreted as its giving up Kosovo”.

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