Kosovo FM to Attend Belgrade Conference, Risks Being Arrested

Southeast Europe | April 17, 2015, Friday // 15:59|  views

Kosovo Foreign Minister Hashim Thaci. Photo: EPA/BGNES

Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic announced on Thursday that the Foreign Minister of Kosovo Hashim Thaci risks being arrested if he attends a conference in Belgrade next week.

Stefanovic explained that in case Thaci comes to Serbia, the Interior Ministry will take action in accordance with the law and bring him to justice, Tanjug state news agency reports.

Serbia's War Crimes Prosecutor Vladimir Vukcevic said earlier that the warrant for Thaci's arrest, which had been issued in 1999, was still in force and he could be arrested if he visits Belgrade.

The Foreign Minister of Kosovo has been charged with the criminal act of terrorism and was sentenced in absentia to ten years of imprisonment in 1997.

The warrant of Thaci, who was leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and led armed resistance in the late 1990s, was expanded in 2003 to cover the charges of genocide.

NGO Youth Education Committee, the organisers of a conference on the EU integration of the Western Balkans, announced on Thursday that Thaci confirmed his participation in the meeting.

One of Thaci's advisers said that his participation in the regional conference on reconciliation depended on Serbian authorities, EurActiv reports..

An arrest would cause a major diplomatic row as the EU has invested numerous efforts to reconcile Serbia and Kosovo, which are both aspiring to EU membership.

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Tags: Serbia, kosovo, Hashim Thaci, arrest, conference, Belgrade, warrant, terrorism, KLA, genocide, EU, Integration, Western Balkans, reconciliation


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