Friday, March 10, 2006

Serbs reject independent Kosovo

Serbs reject independent Kosovo
Serbia's foreign minister has said his country can never accept a fully independent Kosovo, ahead of a meeting of European Union foreign ministers.

The province is still legally part of Serbia and Montenegro - but it has been under UN protection since 1999.

Ministers from Balkan states aspiring to EU membership are at the two-day talks in the Austrian city of Salzburg.

Delegates will also discuss how to keep the Palestinian territories functioning without funding a Hamas-led government.

Both the EU and the US are debating whether to stop donations after the militant group takes over following its election win.

Hamas does not recognise the right of Israel to exist and is regarded by many as a terrorist organisation.

Ministers are also expected to consider:

• The recent Danish cartoon row and ways in which the Christian and Islamic worlds can avoid such clashes in future

• EU policy on Iran in light of the recent referral to the United Nations Security Council over its nuclear activity

• The situation in the Ukraine and the forthcoming elections in Belarus.

However, correspondents say new policies will be thin on the ground as the meeting is informal.


Serbia's foreign minister told the BBC he planned to deliver a message to his European counterparts that Serbia could never accept a fully independent Kosovo.

Vuk Draskovic said the result would be a humiliation for Serbia, dangerous for the region and the whole of Europe.

Talks are due to resume about the status of Kosovo, with many in the international community preferring that it becomes a state in its own right.

Mr Draskovic also acknowledged that the Serbian army and police were shielding Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic, who is wanted for war crimes at the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

The EU has warned Serbia its talks on closer ties with the Union would be disrupted if it failed to co-operate fully with the tribunal.


arianit said...

Never say never!

Anonymous said...

Does this come as a suprise?