German Ambassador to Belgrade Thomas Schieb said that the bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 was a controversial issue, but that a reaction was needed because it was necessary to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe and genocide in Kosovo.
– I am aware that this is a controversial issue and that there was no decision of the UN Security Council (on initiating military action). But some decision had to be made, the goal was to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe, to avoid genocide – Shib said for the Radio-Television of Vojvodina.
Shib said that the bombing was “very difficult for Serbia, but that we should not forget that it did not just happen.”
– The problem was to find a solution for Kosovo, all diplomatic means were previously applied – the German ambassador added.
Shib said that it was crucial for the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina to continue, that the goal of that process was clear, and that it was a comprehensive normalization of relations.
– Everyone agrees that the problem of Kosovo must be solved, that would be for the benefit of Serbia, Kosovo and the region – said Šib.
Asked whether Germany could deny support to Serbia on its European path if Belgrade does not recognize Kosovo’s independence, Shib said that “it is more than a hypothetical question” and that “it does not want to be so pessimistic.”
– We hope that both sides will be constructive, negotiations cannot end positively if there is no trust and good atmosphere. We appeal to both sides to avoid statements that could worsen the atmosphere and make it difficult to reach a compromise – said the German diplomat.