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Belgrade ICTY cooperation approved, EU talks on track

brussels bureau

Belgrade ICTY cooperation approved, EU talks on track


The European Union has said it will continue talks on closer ties with Serbia after U.N. war crimes prosecutor Carla del Ponte reported progress in
Belgrade’s cooperation in the hunt for general Ratko Mladic.
After talks with del Ponte, EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn decided to maintain next week’s negotiation round.
The Serbs had asked Del Ponte to show understanding for their country’s political complexities.
Belgrade indicated earlier that the EU’s suspending the talks might play into the hands of ultranationalists and weaken the moderate government.
Rehn said Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica had pledged in a phone call to locate, arrest and transfer Mladic to The Hague war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) “without delay”.
Mladic is indicted with Bosnian Serb former leader Radovan Karadzic for genocide over the 1995 Srebrenica massacre and the siege of Sarajevo.
The EU and Belgrade began talks on a so-called stabilisation and association agreement, last autumn. That is the first step to eventual EU membership.

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