July 20, 2011 / 12:30 PM / in 8 years

Hadzic arrest a good step for Serbia -Dutch ForMin

AMSTERDAM, July 20 (Reuters) - The Dutch foreign minister welcomed the arrest of Serbian war crimes suspect Goran Hadzic on Wednesday as a good step for Serbia’s European Union accession hopes.

“It is of course another good step that has been taken,” Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister Uri Rosenthal said.

“After Mladic was arrested, we said to the Serbs: now it is really down to you making that last step and catching Hadzic. And that has now happened.”

In terms of EU accession, the Dutch government said it will wait for the advice of the European Commission on Serbia’s bid and that it will assess Serbia on the basis of the criteria that it maintains for all countries.

“That involves human rights, tackling corruption and fraud, getting the economy in order and not least, co-operation with the Yugoslavia tribunal. That last point is really happening,” Rosenthal said.

The Netherlands, which hosts the Yugoslavia war crimes tribunal in the Hague, had previously blocked Serbia’s bid to join the EU because not all of its war crimes suspects had been arrested. Following Hadzic’s detention, all suspects have now been arrested. (Reporting by Gilbert Kreijger and Aaron Gray-Block)

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