Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Skopje quiet over Kosovo decision

Skopje quiet over Kosovo decision

21 October 2009 | 13:24 | Source: B92
SKOPJE -- Macedonian officials have refused to explain their decision to establish diplomatic relations with Kosovo.

Future relations between Serbia and Macedonia have been called into question after Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremić criticized Skopje’s decision.

The Macedonian Foreign Ministry’s official position is not to comment on Belgrade’s reaction to the decision to establish diplomatic relations between Macedonia and Kosovo or to Jeremić’s statement.

The opposition notes that the government’s decision to stay quiet is in keeping with the current practice that the government "always subtly applies when it comes to sensitive subjects that could jeopardize its reputation."

“The president and the foreign minister should explain to parliament why diplomatic relations are being established now and in this manner. Macedonia, which is planning to build its international reputation based on a consistent policy, should not behave so erratically,” said Vlado Buchkovski, a former Macedonian prime minister and leader of the opposition Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM).

“I am sure that this decision is connected to the most important question—the name dispute,” he added.

Meanwhile, former Macedonian Foreign Minister Slobodan Chashule hopes that the Serbian government, which, in his opinion, is demonstrating increasing maturity, will realize that this was the only possible way to address the matter of the"Macedonian-Kosovo border".

“The Macedonian government had no other choice, as it was essential to our country for Kosovo to accept the border we signed with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and its successor, Serbia, as a state obligation,” he said.

Chashule said that it had to be made clear that Macedonia was not changing the border agreement, which he himself as foreign minister had submitted to the UN in 2001.

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