Serbia’s Jeremic To Push Dutch On EU Ties

Serbia’s Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic will meet Dutch officials in Brussels on Monday in a bid to “unblock Serbia’s European path”, with the goal of starting EU membership talks in early 2010.

The Netherlands refuse to allow an interim trade deal – part of the suspended Stabilisation and Association Agreement between Belgrade and Brussels – to come into force until war crimes fugitive Ratko Mladić has been arrested.

“A full consensus on Serbia’s EU progress has not been reached in Brussels and I will discuss this to see whether there is a way to create it,” Jeremic told Serbian brodcaster B92 on Saturday.

“We have some new ideas, and they are not a conspiracy against the Dutch, but an effort to find a way out of the situation that will be to the advantage of Serbia, the EU as a whole and peace and stability in the Balkans.”

“We will be very active and will be working everywhere to get to an application for membership, candidacy and then begin negotiations during the Spanish presidency,” Jeremic said, referring to the first six months of 2010, when Madrid holds the rotating EU presidency.

Commenting on Kosovo, he repeated Belgrade’s objections to the establishment of Kosovo’s new armed force, and said Belgrade “we will use all diplomatic means to remove everything that is in contravention to UN Resolution 1244.”

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