Rosenthal: Mladić’s arrest brings Serbia step closer to EU
Foreign minister Uri Rosenthal has told his Serbian counterpart Vuk Jeremić that he is delighted with the arrest of Ratko Mladić. With this arrest Serbia has taken a step forward towards accession to the European Union, Mr Rosenthal said. He described the former general’s arrest as a victory for international justice.
The Netherlands has always advocated making full Serbian cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) a precondition for steps towards EU accession. The best evidence of Serbian cooperation is to bring Mladić and Goran Hadžić, who is still at large, before the ICTY in The Hague. Mr Rosenthal had made this point forcefully to the Serbian foreign minister last Monday in Brussels.
The following step will be ICTY Prosecutor Serge Brammertz’s report to the Security Council on 6 June. The European Commission will then issue an opinion on Serbia’s accession in mid-October. That will provide a basis for deciding on any subsequent steps.