- The Washington Times - Monday, March 2, 2009

The Tuesday Op-Ed, “A separate take from Serbia” by William Walker, deeply shocked me due to its lack of impartiality and its maliciousness and/or ignorance.

Claiming that basically nothing has changed in Serbia regarding Kosovo since the era of the late Slobodan Milosevic is not only simply false, but also represents an outrageous fabrication. It was the democratic opposition that toppled Mr. Milosevic in a democratic revolution in October 2000 and sent him to The Hague. The leaders of this revolution have been democratically re-elected in several elections to lead Serbia on its European path toward democracy and having the highest respect for human rights.

In the negotiations over the status of Kosovo, Serbia had offered Kosovo autonomy over and above any similar arrangements that exist in multiethnic states throughout the world. That these negotiations ended with a unilateral declaration of independence by Albanian leaders in Kosovo, bypassing the U.N. Security Council in spite of the standing U.N. Resolution 1244, is a travesty of international law and a dangerous precedent that will inflame secessionist movements throughout the world.

As to the question of where was Serbian President Boris Tadic during the Milosevic years, let me point out that he was in the opposition from the very first day to the very end of the Milosevic regime. I am a witness to that, as I went through it all myself. On the eve of the revolution, a warrant was issued for Mr. Tadic’s arrest for instigating a workers’ strike against the regime. All of this is well-known and should receive due acknowledgment and respect. What is maybe less known is that as a young man, Mr. Tadic was interrogated, arrested and sentenced to jail for defending the human rights of Albanians among others.

The impartiality of Mr. Walker has been questioned over the years, not least because of what has been perceived as his rush to judgement in the Racak case that led to the NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999. His op-ed can only add support to doubts concerning his impartiality.


Ambassador of Serbia to the United States


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