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Oct 15, 2007 19:23 EEST
June 26 (SeeNews) - EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said on Monday the European Union would not endorse a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with Serbia before top United Nations prosecutor Carla Del Ponte issues her report on the country's cooperation with the international war crimes tribunal next week, Serbian broadcaster RTS reported on Monday.
"The decision for the initialing [of the agreement] will be strongly impacted by Madam Del Ponte's report after her visit to Belgrade, scheduled for October 25 and 26," RTS quoted the commissioner as telling a joint news conference with the chief prosecutor in Luxembourg.
Rehn added that the authorities in Belgrade should intensify their efforts to find the war crime indictees still at large and provide a better access to its archives to the Tribunal, RTS said.
Earlier on Monday, Carla del Ponte said Serbia’s cooperation with the international war crimes tribunal in The Hague tribunal was still low and insufficient. She urged once more the Serbian authorities to arrest and transfer to The Hague fugitive Bosnian Serb Army general Ratko Mladic, one the four remaining war crime indictees sought by the tribunal that are still on the run.
"[The] four fugitives remain at large and the search for them appears to be extremely slow [...] Therefore, I cannot give a positive assessment of full cooperation until Ratko Mladić is arrested and transferred to The Hague," del Ponte said.
Del Ponte said she would visit the Serbian capital next week to assess the progress in cooperation and go there once again ahead of her briefing to the Security Council in December.
In June, the EU restarted talks with Serbia on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) after two of the most wanted fugitives from the confllict in the former Yugoslavia, General Zdravko Tolimir and Serbian police general Vlastimir Djordjevic, were arrested. Serbia hopes to sign a SAA with the EU by the end of 2007 and attain candidate status for the bloc by the end of next year.
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