Text of report by Serbian news agency Beta
Belgrade, 25 April: Representatives of parliamentary parties in the Serbian Assembly today said that the ideas presented by James Lyon, the International Crisis Group's representative in Belgrade, were not the official positions of the relevant international organizations and states.
Dusan Prorokovic, a Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) official and chairman of the parliamentary Committee for Kosovo-Metohija, said that too much attention was being devoted to Lyon's statements.
"Lyon showed earlier how he sees not just the problem of Kosovo, but also the problem of Bosnia-Hercegovina and Macedonia, and the International Crisis Group's pronouncements on the problem of the Middle East issue are also doubtful," Prorokovic told reporters in the Serbian parliament.
He termed "interesting" Lyon's explanation that, because of a great deal of frustration among the Albanians, they should be given independence in order to avoid a new rebellion.
"That is incomprehensible, given that there is a great deal of frustration also among the Albanians in Macedonia and western Greece. Frustration is also present in the Basque provinces. Does that mean that they will all get independence?" Prorokovic asked.
Dusan Petrovic, the head of the Democratic Party (DS) parliamentary grouping, said that the official policy on Kosovo of all essential states was very clear and that none had said that they were for independence, neither the United States, nor the United Nations, nor any European state.
"Serbia's policy is also clearly defined. We are entering a period where the issue of Kosovo's status will definitely be raised, and it is necessary to find a solution that will be able to preserve stability in the region," Petrovic told the press.
He said that it was very negative and totally unacceptable for Serbia if Kosovo receives its own army.
"Every item of that issue will be raised and tabled in the coming months. Serbia will of course be a negotiating side," he said, and added that the negotiations would be held within the UN framework.
Petrovic added that "we must all together, as a nation and a state, have a definite firmness and clarity in our position that it is possible to find a solution that will not wreck our state and national interests."
Aleksandar Vucic, the Serbian Radical Party (SRS) secretary general, said that he had heard no official position on Kosovo, that so far there had been unofficial positions, including Lyon's, and that there would be more of them in the future.
Vucic told reporters that the "job of dismembering Serbia cannot be completed without the signature of official Serbia, which is why they are looking for allies in Serbia", and added that, otherwise, the biggest precedent in the history of the United Nations would be set. He said that no serious politician or party in Serbia would ever accept Kosovo's secession from Serbia and that statements like that [Lyon's] were "lobbying designed to persuade some politicians to renounce their territory."
Miroljub Albijanic, head of the G17 Plus parliamentary grouping, said that Belgrade could not sit "with folded arms, not do anything, wait and comment on the reports of others."
Albijanic recalled that a few months ago the G17 Plus had launched an initiative for an international conference on Kosovo to be held and [said] that Belgrade should show determination in the resolution of important state issues.
Zoran Andjelkovic, a Socialist Party [of Serbia, SPS] official, said that people like Lyon should cease being concerned with state issues and leave the resolution of those issues to state parliaments, international institutions and the international community.
Lyon said during the weekend that it was not a question of whether Kosovo would be independent or not, but only of when that would happen. He added that that was the position of both the United States and the EU, one that was not accepted only by Serbia.
Source: Beta news agency, Belgrade, in Serbian 1346 gmt 25 Apr 05