Monday, December 19, 2005

Radical official says US congressmen's letter to Bush on Serbia "scandalous"

Text of report by Serbian privately-owned TV Pink on 17 December

[Reporter] A group of US congressmen, members of the Serbian caucus, have written to President George Bush expressing support for Serbia's democratic institutions and its leadership headed by President Boris Tadic. They advocated a final status for Kosovo which would be a fruit of compromise between Belgrade and Pristina. We should strongly support this man [Tadic] as a good friend of the US as he continues to confront the Serbian Radical Party [SRS] and other nationalists who wish to return Serbia to the dark ways of the 1990s, the letter said.

Responding to the letter, the Serbian Radical Party's secretary general Aleksandar Vucic told the National News Bulletin [Pink TV's regular news programme] the following:

[Vucic] The Serbian Radical Party believes that the letter by the Serbian caucus of congressmen to US President George Bush is scandalous, primarily because of the fact that the citizens of Serbia expect the Serbian caucus to represent the interests of Serbian citizens, they expect them to represent the interests of Serbia.

Nowhere in their letter on Kosovo-Metohija did they ask George Bush to do everything in his power so that Kosovo-Metohija does not get independence, they did not do that at any given moment. What is also never mentioned is the possibility of halting support for the Albanians or the possibility of giving support to Serbia in the fight against an independent Kosovo-Metohija.

Is it not now fully clear that when Boris Tadic and [presidential adviser] Vuk Jeremic go abroad they are in fact building their own caucus, not a Serbian caucus? Is it not now clear that the only thing they ask them [US congressmen] to do is to settle scores with the Serbian Radical Party so that they [Tadic, Jeremic] can keep their posts and keep their power?

Naturally, we want normal relations with everyone, and with America, too, and we will have them, but we will always work in the interest of the country and not against our political opponents alone. We will never want clashes inside Serbia, but only to preserve the integrity of our Serbia.

Source: TV Pink, Belgrade, in Serbian 1830 gmt 17 Dec 05

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