Jeremic Invites EU Officials To Serbia

default104Serbia’s foreign minister Vuk Jeremic invited European Union officials to come on a fact-finding mission and see first-hand Belgrade’s efforts on cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Belgrade signed the key Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU last year, but the Netherlands is blocking its ratification until Serbia arrests the remaining two war crimes suspects still on the run from the Hague tribunal, especially genocide suspect Ratko Mladic.

Jeremic issued the invitation at an EU Troika meeting in Brussels to discuss Serbia’s process towards EU membership. 

“I want to use this opportunity to once again say that there is absolutely no doubt in Belgrade there is no hesitation within government of Serbia that full cooperation is necessity and priority we will do all that cooperation becomes history very soon”, Jeremic said. “We don’t avoid our responsibilities, they are fair and we look forward of fulfilling them”.

European officials reiterated that Serbia could move forward towards membership once it fulfils the necessary conditions, mainly related to the arrest of Mladic, who the tribunal says is hiding in Serbia.

“We have assured Serbia that the EU will be ready to implement the interim agreement and ratify the SAA as soon as the condition of full cooperation with ICTY is met”,said Czech foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg.

European officials did not give a clear answer on whether they will take up the Serbian invitation, but Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said he would in any case visit Serbia next month.

“I am sending a personal mission in two weeks,” Rehn said, “and I will go to Belgrade on 12 February and do some fact finding.”.

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