Rift widens in Serbian government after deadly riots

(dpa)  -  A deep rift in the Serbian government coalition was exposed again Friday when Serbian President Boris Tadic condemned violent riots on the margin of a protest which Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica said was a "magnificent rally" just hours earlier.

Tadic has condemned the violence, looting and arson that occurred Thursday evening, on the margins of a massive protest against Kosovo's declaration of independence from Serbia and Western support for it.

"There is no excuse for violence, nobody may with a single word try justifying what has happened yesterday," said the pro-European Tadic.

One person was killed during the ransacking and torching of the United States embassy. The charred remains found in the smouldering compound were not identified by Friday afternoon.

Also attacked on Thursday were the diplomatic missions of Croatia, Germany, Canada, Turkey, Belgium and Bosnia, as well as businesses and stores from countries the mob regarded as hostile to Serbia.

The looting brought the political aspect of the riots into question.

Tadic said he has called the National Security Council - the highest defence body grouping the president, prime minister, assembly speaker, defence and interior ministers and heads of security and intelligence services - to meet urgently to discuss the situation.

"It was not Serbia and Serbia will not be like that," he said. "Law and order must rule and the violence which has happened in Belgrade must never again be repeated."

Just a few hours earlier, however, Kostunica said that the Serbian people on Thursday "showed what they think" of Kosovo's break from Serbia and of the Western countries supporting the break.

Tadic's pro-European Democratic Party and Kostunica's increasingly anti-Western Democratic Party of Serbia are in a coalition which has strained close to breaking point amid the different directions they are pulling in regard to European integration and Kosovo.

"In a magnificent gathering and a prayer, the people of Serbia showed what they think of Kosovo and what they think of the brutal violence conducted against it," he said in a statement handed to local media.

He was referring to the support and recognition extended by the US and their Western allies to Kosovo, which has declared independence on Sunday.

"Most of all Serbia's youth has sent a message that Serbia is for law, justice and freedom and that it rejects the bullying policy of Western countries," Kostunica said.

He only glancingly mentioned the ransacking of the embassies, and then only in the context that it was damaging Serbia's interests.

"A big misfortune happened, a human life has been lost," Kostunica said. "Our opposition to bullying must be in our interest ... violence and destruction directly damage our national interests."

In the view of the increasingly radical Kostunica, "all supporters of the false state Kosovo are happy when they see violence in Belgrade."

The US government charged Thursday that Serbia failed to provide adequate security and said it would hold Serbian leaders "personally responsible" if Americans were harmed.

The United Nations Security Council sharply condemned the attacks "in the strongest terms" and reminded Serbia of the "fundamental principle of inviolability of diplomatic missions."

Also condemning the violence were the European Union in Brussels and the German government.

Serbian police provided no protection for the US and other embassies when the mob launched its attack, but appeared later to disperse it by using batons and teargas. Some 190 people were detained in connection with the riots.

No demonstrations were scheduled in Belgrade on Friday. Earlier a tense stand-off between international forces and Serbs in their enclave of Mitrovica in northern Kosovo passed without clashes.

WHO Europe hopeful Covid-19 vaccines arrive in Georgia in coming weeks
WHO Europe hopeful Covid-19 vaccines arrive in Georgia in coming weeks
Georgian Railway expects to refinance Eurobonds
Georgian Railway expects to refinance Eurobonds
WHO praises Georgia for curbing Covid-19
WHO praises Georgia for curbing Covid-19
Loading Bars
Latest
Kazakhstan’s COVID-19 daily case count stands at 857
Turkey reports 11,322 new COVID-19 cases
Official says satisfied with results of human trial of Iranian COVID-19 vaccine
WHO Europe hopeful Covid-19 vaccines arrive in Georgia in coming weeks
Azerbaijani defense minister expresses condolences to Turkish side
China sets modest GDP growth target as economy improves
Kazakhstan may take part in restoration of Azerbaijani liberated lands
Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Tonga evacuate people over tsunami threat
6.5-magnitude quake hits Kermadec Islands region
Uzbek and Belarusian experts to exchange experience in standardization
Italy reports nearly 23,000 new COVID-19 cases as some see "third wave"
5.9-magnitude quake jolts central Greece, no injuries reported
Georgian Railway expects to refinance Eurobonds
UK records another 6,573 coronavirus cases, 242 deaths
Azerbaijan agrees to continue existing oil production cuts in April (PHOTO)
7.3-magnitude quake hits waters off New Zealand
Armenia can also benefit from regional transportation projects if behaves in normal way - President Aliyev
Azerbaijan becomes one of Eurasia's main and reliable transportation, logistics hub - President Aliyev
We invite ECO member states to benefit from “Zangazur corridor” - President of Azerbaijan
We condemn unequal, unfair distribution of vaccines among developing and developed countries - President Aliyev
Now we are looking into future - President Aliyev
Military victory over Armenia on battlefield was also fully accomplished by political ways - President Aliyev
Stronger Turkey is, stronger is Azerbaijan and all its partners - President Aliyev
IAEA chief: Technical meeting with Iran to be held in April
WHO praises Georgia for curbing Covid-19
Belarusian BELAVIA airlines operating one-way flights on Baku-Minsk route
Macron to spare Paris region from weekend lockdown, for now
Kazakhstan determines priorities of foreign policy
Compliance services become more relevant in Azerbaijan - PASHA Bank
Several servicemen killed in military helicopter crash in Turkey
Azerbaijan doing everything to create new transport infrastructure in South Caucasus – Russian analyst
New reality created in South Caucasus - head of department at Istanbul Kadir Has University
Demining of Azerbaijani lands complicated by Armenia’s refusal to provide maps of minefields - Expert
Long-awaited end to Karabakh conflict creates new opportunities - Former US ambassador to Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan shows footage from Kechikli village of Zangilan district (VIDEO)
Azerbaijan interested in strengthening export and investment potential with Argentina
President Aliyev gives speech at virtual Summit of Economic Cooperation Organization (PHOTO/VIDEO)
MFA shares potential sectors of Lithuanian investment in Georgia
Georgian kiwi enters Japanese market
Azerbaijan's ENGINET company talks unique solutions for local market
Kazakh gold extracting venture opens tender to buy spares
Kazakhstan intends to attract funds to improve energy efficiency of facilities
Volume of food products sold in Baku's trade network increases
Georgia shows progress in curbing coronavirus cases - WHO
Azerbaijani Finance Ministry allocates funds for maintenance services
Restaurant business subsidizing program launched in Tbilisi
UK's Johnson says Brexit problems in Northern Ireland are solvable
Supporting Member Country ECAs: ICIEC endorse supportive reinsurance treaty with JLGC
Uztekstilprom, French Proparco talk profitable financing for textile projects
Georgian consulting company launching project for female entrepreneurs
Georgian wine export to US down
Russia and Azerbaijan lead in import of electricity to Georgia
Several low-cost airlines resume flights to Georgia
Azerbaijan-Belarus foreign trade operations for Jan. 2021 revealed
Azerbaijan confirms 124 more COVID-19 recoveries
Kazakhstan increasing control over development of oil and gas fields
State property privatization plan in Georgia surpasses initial plan
Several containers with cargo to pass through Azerbaijan along BTK railway - ADY Container
Rehabilitation centers can be established in Azerbaijan's liberated lands - Agency
Azerbaijan discloses number of imported cars in 2020
Uzbekistan’s 1M2021 profit for banks increases
Germany approves AstraZeneca for over-65s
New plant to be commissioned in Baku
Azerbaijan to receive Astra Zeneca vaccine via COVAX mechanism - WHO
Turkmengas opens again tender for operation of video surveillance system
Uzbekistan, Belarus agree to expand range of mutually supplied agricultural products
Uzbek currency rates for March 5
Italian Eni launches implementation of its solar energy project in Kazakhstan
Ensuring security in Karabakh our top priority - Turkish president
Georgia eyes to select new investor for Anaklia port
Creation of Kazakhstan-Azerbaijan Business Council under discussion
Covaxin demonstrates prowess of Atmanirbhar Bharat, says ICMR chief
India, Philippines sign key defence pact, set ball rolling for BrahMos missile sale
Turkey supports Georgia in deepening relations with Euro-Atlantic structures
Moldova Post plans to develop co-op with Turkmenistan in field of postal services
Georgia preparing for issuance of new Eurobond
Europe reviewing Russia's COVID-19 vaccine
German companies interested in funding Azerbaijan's railway projects
Uzbekistan to launch production of electric scooters in Fergana region
Azerbaijani State Customs Committee chairman names most-imported products for 2020
India, Norway to work together in marine spatial planning
PM Modi may launch trading points, connectivity projects in Dhaka
India to fund NRs 246 million for reconstruction of Cultural Heritages in Nepal
Kazakhstan, Tajikistan resuming mutual air traffic
Several ships and related facilities to be launched in Iranian ports
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for March 4
Azerbaijani FM’s letter to UN sec-gen disseminated as document of organization
Kazakhstan increases imports of Iran-made goods
Georgia plans to create new economic development plan
Baku Statistical Department discloses Jan. 2021 volume of paid services to citizens
Electricity production in Georgia to increase after Namakhvani HPP is ready
Uzbekistan reveals volume of industrial production for Jan. 2021
Students and graduates of Baku Higher Oil School shown high results in entrance exams for master's degree programs
Azerbaijani PASHA Bank eyes attracting IT companies to implement joint projects
Azerbaijani banks' demand at foreign exchange auction decrease
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price fell
Azerbaijan, Turkey to hold joint military exercises (PHOTO)
Turkish foreign minister to visit Uzbekistan
Volume of cargo loaded, unloaded in Iran’s Dayyer port revealed
Kazakhstan’s Ulba Metallurgical Plant announces tender to buy accumulators
All news