O'Brien: We will do everything for Kosovo to establish the Association of municipalities with a Serbian majority

2024-04-20 15:17:00, Kosova & Bota CNA

O'Brien: We will do everything for Kosovo to establish the Association of

The US Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia, James O'Brien, said on Saturday that Kosovo has pledged to establish the Association of Serb-Majority Municipalities and Washington expects this pledge to be fulfilled, while stressing that the truth must be faced about what happened in Srebrenica in 1995.

He made these comments in Belgrade after meeting with Serbian President Aleksandar Vu?i?, who said that during today's discussions the positions were completely different regarding Kosovo and the debates taking place in the United Nations General Assembly for a resolution on the genocide in Srebrenica. .

Mr. O'Brien said that the United States will do everything possible to ensure the fulfillment of Kosovo's commitment to the establishment of the Association.

"If there is concern that the international community is not fulfilling its obligation to help in this matter, I hope that we will do everything in our power to help fulfill the pledge," he said, according to a translation by the president's office. Serbian.

The establishment of this mechanism is part of the agreement on the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia, which the parties agreed on last year in Brussels and Ohrid.

The Serbian president said that "everyone is lying to us, including Pristina and the European Union" about the association, while he accused Pristina of creating new problems such as the issue of banning the use of the Serbian dinar. He said that Serbia will continue to oppose Kosovo's membership process in the Council of Europe, although in last year's agreement the parties have agreed that they will not hinder each other in the integration processes.

Last week, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe opened the way for Kosovo to join this organization, the final word on which the Council of Ministers must give next month.

The Serbian president expressed his concern about the resolution on the genocide in Srebrenica, stressing that it could damage relations in the region.

"Remember that this is a decision of one people against another people within Bosnia and Herzegovina," he said.

The draft UN resolution, initiated by Germany and Rwanda, supported by the United States, Bosnia and Herzegovina and other countries, calls for July 11 to be an official international day of remembrance for the victims of the Srebrenica genocide.

On July 11, 1995, more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were executed by Bosnian Serb forces in Srebrenica. Despite the decision of international courts that genocide was committed in Srebrenica, Belgrade and the Republika Srpska deny such a thing. The president of the Serbian entity in Bosnia, Milorad Dodik, warned of secession from Bosnia if such a resolution is approved. Speaking about the resolution Mr. O'Brien said that partnership with Serbia and anyone else is intended to face the truth, recalling how the young lawyer had worked in the investigation of war crimes and was part of the first team that investigated the murders in Srebrenica.

"At home, the forces of the government of Serbia guaranteed us security and then the representatives of the UN were with us as we were carrying out the work for the truth. We are still doing this to this day, and we have to face the truth. We were partners then and we must be partners now," said Mr O'Brien.

The resolution is expected to be put to a vote in early May, while the Serbian president said he will travel to New York to continue efforts against it.

On Monday, he is expected to participate in the next meeting of the United Nations Security Council on the situation in Kosovo.

He said that Serbia and the United States agree on few things, except for maintaining peace and stability in the region.

"From the Serbian side, I promise that Serbia will behave in a responsible and serious manner," said President Vucic.

Serbia is a candidate country for membership in the European Union, but maintains close ties with Russia and has refused to join Western sanctions against Moscow over its aggression in Ukraine.

Kosovo-Serbia tensions have increased concerns that Russia may try to destabilize the Western Balkans to divert attention from its aggression in Ukraine./ Voa 

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