Vucic Dismisses White House Estimate on “Extremist Rhetoric” of Belgrade

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, on Tuesday, dismissed the criticisms coming from Washington concerning the inappropriate rhetoric of Belgrade and Pristina, stating that he personally “had not made a single extremist statement in the last five years”.

The White House said on Monday that Kosovo and Serbia must “put aside extremist rhetoric and recommit to peace”.

In the occasion of 20 years since the end of a NATO bombing campaign against rump Yugoslavia, the White House said that NATO’s intervention brought an end to the [former president Slobodan] Milosevic regime’s campaign of ethnic cleansing, which left thousands dead and over one million civilians displaced.”

“To pay respects to those victims, Kosovo and Serbia must recommit to a peaceful and prosperous future for all of their citizens. This requires putting aside extremist rhetoric and historical revisionism”, it added.

The White House also called for dialogue “aimed at normalizing relations” and urged Pristina and Belgrade to “redouble efforts to work toward a comprehensive agreement centered on mutual recognition and immediately remove barriers to progress.”

Vucic told reporters in Lucani, western Serbia, that he would like if from the White House they would point out what statement by Serbian officials had been extremist.

“In the past five years, you cannot find anything on me. The journalists once caught me when I swore quietly when we were at Cacak, during the floods, and that was the only time where they could have caught me being indecent”, Vucic said.

When asked about the allegations in a part of the Belgrade media that German Chancellor Angela Merkel allegedly has a new proposal for the resolution of the Kosovo issue, Vucic said that he could not comment on something about which he knew nothing.

He reminded that a couple of days ago he had a telephone conversation with Merkel and that she did not mention to him anything of the sort.

“She did not mention any plan to me”, he added.