Escobar for Voa: Serbia Must Implement Odihr Recommendations by Next Vote | Beta Briefing

Escobar for Voa: Serbia Must Implement Odihr Recommendations by Next Vote

Source: Beta
News / Politics | 26.02.24 | access_time 09:43


The U.S. envoy for the Western Balkans, Gabriel Escobar, said in a Feb. 23 interview with the Voice of America (VoA) that Serbia was expected to implement recommendations by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) by the next election in the country.

Escobar said that a report by the OSCE/ODIHR on irregularities reported during Serbia’s parliamentary and local elections on Dec. 17 was “thorough and fair,” and that Serbia should meet the organization’s recommendations before its next vote.

“The ODIHR Report was fairly thorough and rather fair. We said that the ODIHR Report, which we support, offered clear recommendations and highlighted evident flaws in the election process in Serbia. Our position, too, is that it needs to be improved, and that it needs to be improved by the next elections – be they national, or local,” Escobar said.

According to the U.S. envoy for the region, it is important that there is a legal process in Serbia through which the opposition can address its concerns. “We want the institutions to do their job, and seriously consider their complaints. Whatever the elected government may look like, we expect it to strengthen democratic institutions in Serbia, continue the dialogue and accession to the European Union (EU). I believe that all people in Serbia want the same, except for a minority which votes for the right wing, which fared poorly in the elections,” the U.S. diplomat said.

Escobar added that Serbia should continue on the path to the EU, which implied “orientation towards the West.” “We always said that we thought it to be good idea for Serbia to implement sanctions against Russia, and we believe that regional stability depended on progress in the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue as well. We absolutely have expectations for the new government, as well as aspirations regarding our bilateral relations,” Escobar said in the interview.

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