NEWS

Kosovo regime should have considerable autonomy

What chance is there for the talks that have begun in Vienna with the Kosovo Albanians? They will raise certain crucial issues regarding daily life, such as energy, transport, missing persons and the temporarily resettled. The fate of the latter group is very important. If most of them returned to Kosovo – so far less than 1 percent have – the situation there would be safer for Serbs and other non-Albanians. If the international community, particularly KFOR, did more for the security of Serbs and non-Albanians in Kosovo, the situation would be safer. Unfortunately, KFOR and UNMIK have focused more on the safety of their own people. In any case, I believe that the talks in Vienna are an important beginning for talks between Serbs and Albanians since the coming of KFOR and UNMIK. No talks over the final form of the regime in Kosovo can be held before the issue of respect for human rights is resolved. What kind of regime would satisfy the Serbs? I think that there are more and more ideas about the kind of regime that would satisfy everyone. We have to start from there. Not only to satisfy the Serbs or the Albanians, but to satisfy the region, Europe and the international community. There will have to be a compromise, a non-conventional regime. Since the wars in the former Yugoslavia, all the constitutional solutions in the region have been non-conventional. Bosnia-Herzegovina, with the Dayton agreement, the relationship between Serbia and Montenegro, the Belgrade agreement, developments in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia with the Ohrid agreement. This is the kind of solution that should be found for Kosovo. Any change of borders would be fatal and would not stop there. The best solution for all, the solution which is mandatory, is that Kosovo should have a high degree of autonomy, but perhaps that is not the best condition. It should, however, maintain relations with Belgrade. In any case, this entire region, the Western Balkans, that is, will one day be in the European Union. There are those here in Serbia, quite a number of them from what I have heard, who are wondering whether, faced with the risk of losing it altogether, it would be better to divide Kosovo. What is your view? Any division of Kosovo would lead to the breakup of other areas. There are also Albanians living in southern Serbia, in Montenegro and in Macedonia. Milosevic trial You handled the most difficult issue of the arrest and handover of Slobodan Milosevic to the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Now, after so long, do you think it was right for the government to capture him and to take him to The Hague in the middle of the night? Some people say you sold him for a handful of dollars. I would like to refer to the mood among the international public after October 5 [Milosevic’s ouster]. Then, both Washington and the prosecutor in The Hague were saying that there was a possibility of trying Milosevic in his own country. I think that that would have been better, because of his responsibility before his people and in order to strengthen the standing of our justice system. I was then in favor of passing a law on cooperation with the court in The Hague. When Milosevic was handed over in The Hague, that law had not been passed. It was passed much later, in March 2002. I have always believed that those responsible for war crimes should be tried in their own countries. In any case, when we are talking about trials at The Hague court, I have always believed that there should be a legal framework for this cooperation. Do you think Mladic and Karadzic should be tried by the international court? My answer is this: there are laws that must be obeyed whether Karadzic and Mladic respect them or not. However, the State is obliged to implement them. I believe that appeals to Mladic and Karadzic to surrender are to no purpose, they solve nothing. So you think they should be arrested and tried here? No, that is not what I meant. Wherever Mladic and Karadzic are, the court in The Hague has issued warrants for their arrest.