The outgoing UK ambassador to Serbia Denis Keefe said on Thursday that his country and Serbia have a complex relationship, but that the two countries share common values, the Beta news agency reported.
Keefe said, visiting the Vojvodina RTV Show Pravi Ugao (Right Angle), that British suggestion of the resolution on Srebrenica in the UN Security Council three years ago was not against Serbia, adding that the reconciliation in the region requested “honesty and open discussion, not the relativisation.”
“We ought to talk about tough issues, and we can do that since we share common values,” Keefe told the Vojvodina’s public RTV service.
He described as a conspiracy, and nonsense media claims that British advisors were behind the Kosovo special police unit operation in ‘Kosovo’s north.
“Our policy regarding Kosovo is to support the resumption of the (Belgrade – Pristina) dialogue (on the normalisation of relations) facilitated by the European Union. We are a friend of the Balkans, Kosovo is a state for us, but we say you should talk and reach a solution in the dialogue,” Keefe said.
Keefe said that his country’s position was not to impose deadlines for reaching a comprehensive solution in the negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina, but that it was necessary to find a solution through dialogue that would be useful both for the future and stability of the region, as well as for the Serbia’s entry into the European Union.
“If there is no solution, there is a risk,” said the outgoing British ambassador.
Referring to the possible division of Kosovo, Keefe reiterated that Britain opposes such a scenario because it carries “risk and price”, but added that “there is only one solution, through dialogue and that is our main topic”.
Asked to comment on additional taxes imposed by Pristina on imports of products from Serbia and BiH, the British ambassador stressed that they are an obstacle to progress in the dialogue.
“We have persistently said that taxes are an obstacle to progress in dialogue,” he said.
Asked why the British Foreign website has an instruction for British citizens to be cautious about traveling to the north of Kosovo, and such recommendations do not exist in the case of traveling to other parts of Kosovo, the ambassador responded that this was not new, and that for years they have such recommendations for its citizens.
“The point of recommendation is that people are well informed,” Keefe said, adding that it was a global security challenge.