Serbian president says compromise with Pristina impossible without Kosovo Serb community

BELGRADE, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) — An establishment of the Community of Serb Municipalities is the key condition for starting discussing a potential compromise solution between Serbia and temporary authorities in Pristina, Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic said Tuesday.
The southern region of Kosovo and Metohija had unilaterally seceded from Serbia in 2008. Serbia rejects it and considers Kosovo its own province.
Vucic held a press conference at the presidency building to brief journalists about the situation in Kosovo and Metohija, after the recent failure of Pristina authorities to meet the deadline of the European Union (EU) and form the Community of Serbian Municipalities before Aug. 4.
Vucic said that he will advise Serbs in the province to work together with Serbia “on monitoring movements in the international community, pursuing our rights and choosing the right moment and measures that would be beneficial for our interests, as well as to obtain guarantees that we can maintain peace, stability and not harm safety”.
He said Pristina needs to make the move and form the mentioned body, because, if Serbs tried to form the Community themselves, authorities in the province would see that as unilateral act, which would put in danger the northern part of the province controlled by Kosovo Serbs.
Vucic explained that the lack of the community deprives Serbs of numerous rights stemming from the EU-mediated 2013 Brussels agreement between Belgrade and Pristina.
He further appealed that a compromise solution is needed urgently because the long-term peace between Serbs and Albanians would create security and safety for citizens, enable Serbia to pursue economic development, attract foreign direct investments, improve its international reputation and evade a poor demographic outlook for upcoming decades.
But, according to Vucic, it will not be possible to initiate a dialogue about a compromise solution before authorities in Pristina fulfill their obligation from the 2013 Brussels agreement and form the Community of Serb Municipalities.
He assured, however, that if a compromise solution appears on the horizon, the final decision on the legally binding agreement will be made by citizens of Serbia at a referendum.
“People will be informed on all facts in order to be able to express their position on any potential agreement that we could reach some day,” Vucic said.
Still, he highlighted his pessimism when it comes to the possibility that a compromise solution could become reality, because of the visible public dissatisfaction, both in Belgrade and Pristina, with the idea of leaving the status quo.
Vucic said that Serbia will insist on a solution that focuses on the safety and security of Kosovo Serbs as well as the right of property of its citizens, companies, church and state in the province.

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