Vučić explained: Why didn't I sign? VIDEO
Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić addresses the citizens of Serbia.Source: B92
"Yesterday we had a round of dialogue that the world powers made important and prominent when it comes to media coverage. Talks are never easy because we are talking about opposing parties that have different interests," he said.
"I will speak in a serious way as president. I will do my best, although it is not easy, we have been exposed to an avalanche of lies, both in the world and in the country. Many hope for the worst possible solution for our country".
Vučić then read the entire Annex to the Agreement on the path to normalization of relations:
- This Annex constitutes an integral part of the Agreement.
- Kosovo and Serbia fully commit to honour all Articles of the Agreement and this Annex, and implement all their respective obligations stemming from the Agreement and this Annex expediently and in good faith.
- The Parties take note that the Agreement and the Implementation Annex will become integral parts of the respective EU accession processes of Kosovo and Serbia. The Parties note that immediately after the adoption of the Agreement and this Annex, the EU Facilitator will start the process to amend the Chapter 35 benchmarks for Serbia to reflect Serbia’s new obligations stemming from the Agreement and this Annex. The agenda of Kosovo’s Special Group on Normalisation will equally reflect Kosovo’s new obligations stemming from the Agreement and this Annex.
- The Parties agree to endorse the Declaration on Missing Persons, as negotiated under the EU-facilitated Dialogue, as a matter of urgency.
- To implement Article 7, Kosovo launches immediately negotiations within the EU-facilitated Dialogue on establishing specific arrangements and guarantees to ensure an appropriate level of self-management for the Serbian community in Kosovo, in compliance with relevant previous Dialogue agreements as determined by the EU Facilitator.
- The Parties agree to set up a Joint Monitoring Committee, chaired by the EU, within 30 days. The implementation of all provisions shall be ensured and supervised by the Joint Monitoring Committee.
- To implement Article 9, the EU will organise a donor conference within 150 days to set up an investment and financial aid package for Kosovo and Serbia. No disbursement will happen before the EU determines that all provisions of the Agreement have been fully implemented.
- Kosovo and Serbia agree that all Articles will be implemented independently of each other.
- The order of the paragraphs of this Annex is without prejudice to the order of their implementation.
- Kosovo and Serbia agree not to block implementation of any of the Articles.
- All discussions related to implementation of the Agreement will take place under the EU-facilitated Dialogue.
- Kosovo and Serbia recognise that any failure to honour their obligations from the Agreement, this Annex or the past Dialogue Agreements may have direct negative consequences for their respective EU accession processes and the financial aid they receive from the EU.
Vučić then said that he would analyze point by point.
"This is not difficult for us in the situation we are in right now, but it will be even more difficult in six month period. What's important is that we no longer depend on the goodwill of Pristina. Why didn't I sign? Because of several things. Serbia is an internationally recognized country and for me, the so-called Republic of Kosovo is not an internationally recognized state... But after every summit and meeting, I unequivocally talk about the red lines, which state that we do not recognize 'Kosovo' and that we are against its admission to the UN. That's why I didn't sign anything," President of Serbia said.
He said that this is why neither the agreement nor the annex was signed, but that Serbia is ready to work on implementation up to its red lines.
"So, the Article of the Vienna Convention says the following: "An additional problem is that Article 7 of the Vienna Convention establishes that the verbal consent of the head of state is binding." Of course, always less binding than a signature, but it has value. That's why I refused to accept verbal nouns like acceptance, nor 'adoption', neither 'acceptance', nor 'acknowledgment'", he said.
Vučić pointed out that he took care of every word.
He added that we accept the concept, that we will work on implementation, and that he wants people in Serbia to know how the country's interests are taken care of.
About the missing persons
"I don't repeat things because I'm stupid or I don't know what I'm doing, but because I know what I'm doing. Now we come to the article which is important for everyone, and that is the missing persons," said Vučić.
Vučić said that the Pristina side had numerous demands and talked about the so-called forced disappearance.
"Until now, Pristina has used it as pressure for war reparations, which Serbia should supposedly follow," said Vučić.
According to him, when you think you are talking about small things, there is a trick behind everything.
"We want to cooperate with the Albanians, we don't need to build walls. So far, the list of missing persons has been compiled," he said.
Community of Serbian Municipalities - CSM
Vučić emphasized that it is important for us that the CSM is mentioned in the previous dialogue process, for which we have signatures from previous years, some of which are Thaci's, but, as he says, "we have signatures".
Vučić added that Kurti came yesterday and said we have Ahtisaari's plan, to which we said that we did not accept that plan and that it has nothing to do with it, but we have the signatures that were reached in the previous dialogue process in Brussels.
"We need the CSM also for the Serbs south of the Ibar who literally live in a ghetto, and then the Albanian representatives say 'no' and say 'yes' they want to form it on 3 pillars:
In accordance with the "Constitution of Kosovo";
Statement by Federica Mogherini to Isa Mustafa;
'Op-ed', a letter to the editor signed by Cholet and Escobar.
He emphasized that he does not hide anything from anyone and that is why he tells every detail.
Vučić added that they insisted all evening "Let Vučić sign."
"I asked: 'I have seen all kinds of things, and I respect both Mr. CholeT and Escobar very much, but is it possible for you to tell me that the material and formal source of law is a text in a newspaper.' And as you can see, we fought for our side. I'm afraid it's going to be a lot harder than I think,'" he said.
Once again, he pointed out that Serbia is ready to work on implementation, and that there are things that we cannot, nor is it realistic, to implement.
"What has changed for us. Not much, but we know that our European path will depend on these negotiations. Anyone can say that they are not interested in the European path, but I am. Not because I have an idolatrous approach and think that everything is wonderful there, but because I am the president who has to take care of the country and the citizens, who do not always have to understand and accept it," he said.
The European path
President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, said that it is important to be on the European path, while safeguarding state and national interests.
He also thanked everyone from the Presidency because every word counted.
"We changed the text of the agreement 12 times, luckily the negotiations lasted 12 hours, and that's where I have an advantage over others because I'm more durable. The longer it lasts, the better my concentration gets," he said and added:
"Which was also the case late last night. So we will go with it, and how it will go, we will see. There are no further obligations for us. From this donor conference, when it will happen, what will happen, about that later".
Vučić pointed out that it is primarily important for us to:
- We create an environment so that the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija are safe;
- That our people have peace wherever they live;
- To always preserve our country and respect the Constitution.
"That is not always easy to achieve, especially since the external pressures are such that they would lead you to give up this third point. I clearly told them that I will not do that while I am the President of Serbia," said Vučić.
He added that he will invite representatives of all parliamentary groups to consultations in the coming days.
"I believe that there will be people who will also want to hear the details that I cannot say publicly. I could write 300 pages about yesterday alone. We have enough time to think about what we want, and to work on the development of our economy."
"The state is not a toy"
Vučić asked if people really think that he is happy when he goes to Ohrid or Brussels.
"We don't sleep for days before that. What should we do? Let's say we won't talk. Three days later you would come and ask why our salaries are reduced. Be serious, the country is run in a serious and responsible way. And with them, there is nothing else but the desire for power. And when I said earlier that everyone will gather in one day. It's my last mandate, and all their hatred is directed at me. And again, only those who are loudest lose," he said.
Vučić said that he received new public opinion surveys, and that the results show that people are responsible and serious.
"What do you think, that people want politicians who tell them that they want a bus to every village, a school for one student. The state is not a toy, so irresponsible people cannot run it".