Frattini: Holland to Soften Serbian Stance

resizer118Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini says that Holland is showing signs of softening its position on Serbian cooperation with the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

In an interview with the Belgrade daily Novosti, Frattini said that the fact that Holland has accepted a proposal by the Tribunal’s Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz to visit Serbia in order to assess the country’s cooperation could mean that Holland is easing its previously firm stance. 

Holland has so far insisted that Serbia must first hand over the remaining two indicted war criminals Ratko Mladic and Goran Hadzic before Brammertz visits Belgrade.

“The fact that Holland is accepting Brammertz’s visit to Serbia is in itself a positive sign, as it implies it has acknowledged that the prosecutor can personally assess the situation in the field,” said Frattini.

He said that, following Brammertz’s visit to Belgrade, he saw a chance for Holland to yield and agree on the opening of steps leading to EU accession.

“The Interim Trade Agreement should be unfrozen, and visa regime liberalisation begun,” Frattini said, adding that he believed that visa liberalisation will be possible by December or the beginning of next year.

He said the EU has a common approach to the Western Balkans – that integration should not be blocked, but, on the contrary, accelerated. “The Road Map should also hasten matters as the European integration process takes too long. All the more so as it depends on long negotiations with each country individually,” he said.

Asked about Fiat’s investments in Serbia, Frattini said that the Turin auto maker will continue its engagement in Serbia.

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