Serbian president to boycott Obama meeting

Serbian President Boris Tadic will not be attending this week’s meeting in Warsaw between Eastern and Central European leaders and President Obama because Kosovo is also invited:  "President Tadic will not attend the Warsaw summit because Kosovo is represented symmetrically with other participants," a spokeswoman for the president said on Tuesday (24 May). A central ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty Images
FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty Images
FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty Images

Serbian President Boris Tadic will not be attending this week's meeting in Warsaw between Eastern and Central European leaders and President Obama because Kosovo is also invited: 

"President Tadic will not attend the Warsaw summit because Kosovo is represented symmetrically with other participants," a spokeswoman for the president said on Tuesday (24 May). A central and southeastern European summit in Warsaw is scheduled to take place on Friday and Saturday and have Obama meet some 20 leaders from the region, including Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga.

Serbia, which has not recognised the independence of its former province, regularly boycotts meetings where Kosovo officials are invited and the protocol allows for state symbols and titles to be displayed.

Serbian President Boris Tadic will not be attending this week’s meeting in Warsaw between Eastern and Central European leaders and President Obama because Kosovo is also invited: 

"President Tadic will not attend the Warsaw summit because Kosovo is represented symmetrically with other participants," a spokeswoman for the president said on Tuesday (24 May). A central and southeastern European summit in Warsaw is scheduled to take place on Friday and Saturday and have Obama meet some 20 leaders from the region, including Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga.

Serbia, which has not recognised the independence of its former province, regularly boycotts meetings where Kosovo officials are invited and the protocol allows for state symbols and titles to be displayed.

Slovakia and Romania – both home to large Hungarian ethnic minorities – have also so far refused to recognise Kosovo and have indicated to the Polish organisers that their presidents may not go if the protocol rules are not changed so that state symbols are no longer displayed.

The Polish organizers believe the Romanian and Sloakian leaders will be persuaded to attend, but Tadic is probably a no-show. 

While the president of Serbia certainly shouldn’t be allowed to determine who is, or isn’t, invited to the conference, I would imagine that the presence of Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci might be uncomfortable for other reasons: he’s been accused by the Council of Europe of having links to organized crime including an organ smuggling ring. 

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

Tag: Serbia

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