The Netherlands is coming under strong pressure from the Czech Republic, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency, to soften its resistance to closer links with Serbia, the Volkskrant says on Friday.
The Netherlands has refused to sign a stability and association pact with the Balkan country because it has not done enough to hand over general Ratko Mladic to the Yugoslavia war crimes tribunal in The Hague.
The paper quotes Czech foreign affairs minister Karel Schwarzenberg as saying it is wrong that ‘an entire country is being held hostage by one man.’ And he referred to other instances in which war criminals were picked up decades later.
Dutch European affairs minister Frans Timmermans told the paper he saw absolutely no reason to change the Netherlands’ position.
‘Serbia holds the key to solving this,’ he told the paper. ‘It is not a question of taking hostages, but a country which is not keeping to agreements,’ he said.
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