Monday, November 28, 2005

Kosovo story ended with arrival of international forces - Slovene president

ort by Slovene television website on 26 November; subheadings as received:

President Janez Drnovsek has said for Tanjug [agency] that the Kosovo story ended with the arrival of international forces.

In his opinion, it is time for solving the legal aspects of the Kosovo situation. Serbia lost Kosovo in the time of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's authority when force was used in an attempt to solve this problem, Drnovsek said.

The international community reacted then and Serbia has lost it sovereignty in Kosovo, he stressed. Serbia has no sovereignty there because it cannot send its army to Kosovo, he explained. If Serbia sent its army to Kosovo, a war would start, Drnovsek added.

A wrong interpretation

According to some interpretations, Drnovsek is in favour of Kosovo's temporary independence. He rejected this interpretation, saying that he was talking about independence only conditionally.

An emotional reaction from the Serb side

He compared reactions to his stances to the reaction he had experienced in the time of Milosevic's rule. These reactions are mostly full of strong emotions and this has in the past resulted in a war, he added. These emotions influenced the politics which resulted in a war, he said.

Kosovo - a mythical stone around Serbia's neck

In Drnovsek's opinion, such policies continue today. They focus on the past and deal with emotions and not with reality, he believes.

According to Drnovsek, former Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic said to him in 2001: "The worst thing that can happen to us is that the international community gives us Kosovo back because this will become a mythical stone around Serbia's neck." The president agrees.

Source: Television Slovenia website, Ljubljana, in Slovene 1448 gmt 26 Nov 05

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