Ramush Haradinaj’s resignation and his appearance before the Special War Crimes Tribunal will further complicate the continuation of Belgrade-Pristina talks on Kosovo’s final status, according to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.
He says Haradinaj’s move is a “political trick” that he can gain even more popularity with and “overtake his political opponents and become a hero fighting for a unified whole of Kosovo.”
Speaking to the public, scheduled more than 16 hours after news of Haradinaj’s resignation, Vucic said Serbia should respond “calmly, measuredly and without euphoria.”
Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj received an invitation from the Special War Crimes Tribunal to appear before the institution as a suspect.
The Special Court was established four years ago and deals with crimes against the non-Albanian population in Kosovo and political opponents of the Kosovo Liberation Army.
Following Haradinaj’s resignation, Kosovo President Hashim Thaci will consult with parliamentary party representatives and decide whether to call snap parliamentary elections or appoint a new cabinet candidate.
Kosovo: Humanitarian crisis or political game around closed shops
Palmer for BBC: Finding a way to bring Belgrade and Pristina back to the negotiating table
Assembly on Kosovo: Action for Sixth Goal or “Opposition Bait”
If there is a choice – no negotiation
If Thaci decides to call elections, the Serbian president thinks it could delay the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue.
Vucic does not expect that in this scenario, the fees of 100 percent imposed by Kosovo on the import of goods from Serbia will be abolished, which is Belgrade’s main condition for returning to the negotiating table.
“Serbia will strongly insist on continuing the dialogue and abolishing fees, but I am afraid that political developments in Kosovo are moving towards further delays in talks and dialogue.”
The president of Serbia says that if elections in Kosovo were held in September or October and with the period required to form a government, it would be time to start the election campaign in Serbia.
On a recent visit to Belgrade, French President Emanuel Macron announced that he would try to organize a new meeting of the President and Prime Minister of Kosovo with the President and Prime Minister of Serbia in September, along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The previously scheduled meeting in Paris on July 1 and 2 was not held.
“He’ll be back as a hero”
The Serbian president says he is absolutely sure that Haradinaj will not spend much time in The Hague.
“It is our prediction that he will leave The Hague next week and release him immediately, after 48 hours, that he will return as the great hero of the Albanian population in Kosovo and that his popularity will double and that of his opponents will decline.
Even if they try to find someone else, a term that is not in the will of Ramush Haradinaj will not be possible, “Vucic said.
The Serbian president says the result will be further homogenization of Kosovo Albanians.
“The main goal is to form a majority without a Serb List – representatives of our people will be used to settle with the Serb List.
It will be a major Albanian internal unification as well as a unification with Tirana, “Vucic said.
Ramush Haradinaj’s Third Hague Road
The former Prime Minister of Kosovo has twice gone to court in the Dutch city of The Hague.
Both times it was the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, which acquitted him in 2008.
Four years later, he was tried on suspicion of witness intimidation in the first case, but he was released in the process.
On his first departure to The Hague, Haradinaj also first resigned as Prime Minister of Kosovo.
Know More Details about Aleksandar Vučić