German daily: Merkel to exert new pressure on Serbia


Sunday 21.08.2011.

BERLIN — German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Zagreb and Belgrade on Monday and Tuesday.

Angela Merkel (Beta, file)
German media expect “increased pressure on Belgrade”.

The conservative chancellor said in her regular video message on Saturday that she would request Serbia to renew the negotiations with Kosovo.

According to the German media, Belgrade is expected to recognize Kosovo “in the long run” and such request can also appear during Serbia’s EU accession process.

Merkel said that all EU member states needed to show “explicit will” to “peacefully solve mutual conflicts – through dialogue and respect of principles of the rule of law”.

She pointed out that this applied both to the EU member states and those countries that “want to join us”.

According to the German media, the chancellor will “increase pressure on Serbia” during her visit to Belgrade.

Germany believes that borders in the Balkans are final and that Kosovo’s territorial integrity is inviolable. Serbia is also aware of the fact that Berlin frowns upon speculations that the conflict between Belgrade and Priština could be solved by annexation of north Kosovo to Serbia.

German economic daily Handelsblatt has reported opinions of the German government that “the EU accession process will become impossible unless Serbia stops such rhetoric”.

“Regarding Serbia’s possible EU accession negotiations, it has also become clear that the German government expects recognition of Kosovo in the long run. It is unrealistic to demand that before the beginning of the negotiations, the government says. However, it could become a condition during the process,” the daily writes.

However, it is unknown whether the German government expects five EU member states that have not recognized Kosovo to do so soon and what Belgrade would be requested to do if this does not happen.

According to Handelsblatt, the government representatives “are reserved when it comes to specific statements about Serbia’s European perspective” and they “want to wait for the European Commission’s report that should be finished on October 12”.

German experts believe that Germany will most likely support the idea to give Serbia the EU candidate status but that a date for the beginning of the accession negotiations will not be set.

Merkel will in Belgrade meet with Serbian President Boris Tadić and Prime Minister Mirko Cvetković. According to the announcements, she should also hold a meeting with former Prime Minister Zoran Đinđić’s wife Ružica Đinđić.

The main topics of the talks in Belgrade will be Serbia’s EU integration, relations in the region and Serbia’s policy regarding Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Various bilateral and economic issues will also be discussed.

The conservative chancellor said in her regular video message on Saturday that she would request Serbia to renew the negotiations with Kosovo.

Source: Beta

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By Editor Posted in news

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