Vučić for CNN: We want to see a bigger KFOR presence in northern Kosovo and Metohija
Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić was hosted at CNN in the show with Christiane Amanpour.Source: B92
He expressed gratitude at the beginning for hosting him on CNN.
The journalist asked him about the situation in Kosovo and Metohija.
“I always appreciated all the reports from the White House, the NSC but the real issue is that those reports are not fully accurate,” he said and added that Belgrade wants to see a bigger KFOR presence to support the safety of the Serbs.
"Let me tell you this, in 2001 we signed an agreement with NATO which refers to our approach to the Ground Safety Zone on the field. We agreed that it is without any restrictions, as well as the territory of Serbia, without restrictions in the number of equipment and weapons. But you need to know something. We had 14,000 people with the administrative line with Kosovo. A few days ago, that number was less than 8,400. We have 4,400 today, which is a regular number of people", Vučić began his address.
"We always hear and listen to what our partners are looking for us. There is currently no reason for concern. We want to see the greater presence of KFOR in Kosovo," Vučić added.
The President says that no combat readiness of our army near the administrative line was even raised.
He denied ordering a buildup of forces along the border with Kosovo.
“Our army people follow the situation in the field and move forces where they will be the most useful. I didn’t sign a high alert for the army,” Vucic said and recalled that Serbia has no restrictions on troop numbers or equipment in the Ground Safety Zone under an agreement with NATO. He said that there are 4,400 troops in the zone today compared to 14,000 a year earlier. Serbia is virtually the last country that needed these incidents in Kosovo due to the dynamics of the entire negotiating process. Everyone saw that Serbia was a constructive partner during dialogue, that Serbia did many concessions. The other side has made this type of gradual ethnic cleaning. We have 10 percent less Serbs than two years ago, immediately after Albin Kurti came to power".
Vučić adds that he immediately condemned the killing of the Albanian police officer. "As for what we could find on our territory and what is available on our territory, our prosecutors will do their job. It is something that is very important in my opinion. But there is something else I spoke about, and you don't want to hear it and that's ok for me. The problem is that the Serbs wanted to protect themselves, and I do not want to justify death of the Albanian police officer. I had condemned it. But I said that Serbs were arrested without any charges, there were storming of the houses, expulsions, expropriation were performed, all in accordance with Brussels Agreement and International Public law. The Community of Serbian municipalities has not yet been formed since 2013, 10 years after we signed it, and Albanian regime in Prishtina did not want to implement it. People wanted to protect themselves and we cannot allow to have different approaches in 1998, 1999 and 2000". "I appreciate your objective and impartial approach. I would like you could go back to what the EU was talking after our last meeting. Even Joseph Borrell and Miroslav Lajcak, the EU envoys, publicly said Serbia was completely constructive, that Serbia accepted everything Albanian representatives asked for", he added. "We are ready to negotiate, but you have to realize that Pristina is not ready to create CSMs. I am always available to talk about all the problems. We will do everything we promised, and peace is in the interest of Serbia. We have many things to lose, why should we play that kind of game? That's why we're committed to negotiations", Vučić emphasized. He added that he supports Milorad Dodik and the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The president commented on the statement of our tennis player Novak Djokovic.
"He said what was in his heart. We need to solve negotiations and see how we will solve all the problems in the future, because we want to build a better future with open borders, administrative lines, whatever you call it, "Vucic finished his address.