04. April 2018

EU on Kosovo arrest of Gulenists, Vucic-Mogherini meeting

The EU has assessed that the arrest and deportation of six Turkish citizens from Kosovo was "arbitrary and against human rights." "The arrest and deportation of six Turkish citizens who had residence permits in Kosovo cast doubt on whether regular legal processes are respected," EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said in response a question from Pristina-based Albanian language website Gazeta Express, Tanjug is reporting. She added that the rule of law is the basic principle of the European Union. "In accordance with its commitment to build a free and democratic future, as foreseen by the SAA, all the activities of domestic institutions in Kosovo should be in line with the rule of law and universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms," Kocijancic said. She added that arbitrary procedures related to arrest, detention or asylum violate these principles. "Regarding Turkey, although we understand the need to bring to justice the persons responsible for the coup attempt, all charges must be subject to regular procedures and known international norms when extradition is sought. The rights of each individual to a fair trial must be fully respected. As a candidate for EU membership and as a member of the Council of Europe, Turkey has accepted these principles," the EU spokeswoman said. EU foreign policy and security chief Federica Mogherini and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic agreed during their March 27 meeting in Belgrade to find new ways for a resumption of work and a peaceful resolution of open issues between Belgrade and Pristina, Maja Kocijancic said on Tuesday. Kocijancic was responding to a Tanjug query whether the EU would change its approach to the dialogue considering that Pristina, in addition to arrests of Serbian officials in Kosovo and Metohija, does not comply with the agreements reached, in particular the establishment of the Community of Serb Municipalities. She said that Mogherini and Vucic met last Tuesday "in order to discussed the events and the future of the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue in a concrete and open manner." Mogherini on the occasion "condemned what happened on March 26 in Kosovo" and said that this "should not happen again," the spokeswoman continued. "The president and the high representative agreed to find new ways to continue work and peaceful resolution of open issues between Belgrade and Pristina," said Kocijancic. In her statement to Tanjug, she stressed that the EU expects "peace, wisdom, restraint and leadership to prevail." Kocijancic again this time has repeated that the EU expects all agreements from the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue to be implemented as soon as possible. "For Kosovo, it is now a top priority to work in accordance with the final agreement on the establishment of the Community-Association of Serb Municipalities," emphasized Kocijancic The EU spokeswoman did not directly answer Tanjug's question on how she sees Moscow's support for Belgrade, when the dialogue with Pristina is in question. "In the next meetings as well the EU will be the mediator in the dialogue. It is up to the sides to agree on the content, speed, the next steps, the format and the time frame within the dialogue," said Kocijancic. At:

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