Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Serbia will not recognise independent Kosovo - ANA exclusive interview with FM Draskovic ahead of Athens visit
Serbia will not recognise an independent Kosovo,Serbia-Montenegro foreign minister Vuk Draskovic said Wednesday in an exclusiveinterview with the Athens News Agency (ANA) in Belgrade."If the leaders of the Albanians go against the will of Belgrade, the EU andthe UN, then no one in the world will recognise such independence. On thecontrary, the only thing they will manage is to render more difficult theclimate in the search for a definitive solution," Draskovic warned.Draskovic said that Serbia's proposal could be summed up with the phrase"something more than autonomy, and less than independence", adding that heconsidered the continued presence of the international administration in Kosovonecessary for many more years.Commenting on the EU position that there should not be a return to thesituation prevailing before 1999, Draskovic said it found him in agreement, butexplained that it should also be taken into consideration the fact that: "Inthe past, in tandem with the Milosevic regime's extremist position of 'fullsovereignty or death', there was also the extremism of the Albanians who stoodfor 'independence or death'. Consequently, non-return to the old regime meansrejection of both those extremist positions."Draskovic reiterated Serbia's insistence on keeping the present borders intact,explaining that "the borders with Albania and FYROM must not be renamed, andthose countries must border with the same country they border today".Asked when he anticipated the dialogue to commence on the final status ofKosovo, Draskovic said that this was not possible in 2005, adding that thenegotiations for the new status of Kosovo could not begin before theimplementation of the democratic criteria and the decentralisation policy,something which had yet to be done.He said the condition of the Serbs at this time was "not better than that ofslaves...they have no right to life, they cannot move freely, 220,000 Serbs whoabandoned Kosovo cannot return, 40,000 homes an 150 churches and monasteriesthat were destroyed over the last five years remain in ruins".Draskovic revealed to ANA that, at the UN, "the prospect of UN secretarygeneral Kofi Annan appointing two special representatives to Kosovo is beingseriously examined". One of the special representatives would deal with theassessment of the criteria, since it would be illogical for Kosovo's UNgovernor Soren Jessen-Petersen to assess his own work, while the second specialrepresentative would deal with the procedures for the final status, Draskovicexplained.Draskovic, who was due to arrive in Athens on Thursday on an official visit toGreece, said that during his meeting with Greek foreign minister PetrosMolyviatis the two men would "assess the current situation in Kosovo" and thathe would brief his Greek conterpart on Serbia's strategy regarding the futurestatus quo in the region."Greece can contribute substantially to resolving the matter of Kosovo,"Draskovic added.
Posted by KosovaReport at 7:44 AM