JULY 23 2012 20:45h
Serbia's Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic, who has been elected to preside over the upcoming 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly, has responded to Croatia's President Ivo Josipovic that he has full understanding for Josipovic's suggestion that, when it comes to Kosovo, Jeremic should make a distinction between his role as General Assembly president and a local politician.
Jeremic, who will preside over the General Assembly for one year as of this September after he obtained 99 votes out of a total of lodged 190 ballots in June, said in his statement that he did not doubt that President Josipovic had the best intentions and was looking forward to Serbia's chairmanship over the UN General Assembly.
"He has no reason to fear whether we (Serbia) will carry out, completely fairly and with the strict compliance with the UN Charter and other rules of this most important international organisation, the responsibility which has been given to us by a majority of the vote of the humankind," Jeremic said in his response released by the Serbian news agency Tanjug on Sunday.
These rules and charter, among other things, "quite clearly define procedures for membership in this organisation, and I fear that they are not very favourable for the secessionist territories such as Kosovo and Metohija," the Serbian minister said.
During their joint news conference on the island of Brijuni on Saturday, President Josipovic and the visiting UN Secretary-General Ban- Ki-moon were asked to comment on a statement by Jeremic, the new chairman of the UN General Assembly, that as long as he was alive he would not allow the admission of Kosovo to the UN.
Ban answered that his visit to Kosovo was part of a wider tour of the Balkan countries.
Kosovo's status is regulated by UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and I will have an opportunity to comment on Jeremic's statement during my visit to Serbia and after my talks with him, the UN Secretary-General said.
Josipovic added that Croatia's position on this matter was defined by the fact that Croatia had recognised Kosovo.
We want good relations with all the countries in the region and we are trying to build such relations with Serbia, too. The statement given by Vuk Jeremic as Serbia's foreign minister is expected, as this is Serbia's policy towards Kosovo, the Croatian president said, adding that Jeremic should make a distinction between his role as General Assembly president and a local politician, and that his statement might be viewed as inappropriate in the context of his chairmanship of the UN General Assembly.
Kosovo declared itself an independent state in 2008,
Its independence is recognised by over 90 out of 193 UN member states. On 8 October 2008, upon the request of Serbia, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution asking the International Court of Justice for an advisory opinion on the issue of Kosovo's declaration of independence. On 22 July 2010, the ICJ ruled that Kosovo's declaration of independence did not violate general international law because international law contains no 'prohibition on declarations of independence'. (Hina)