Monday, September 25, 2006

Albanian PM says Serbia's opposition to an independent Kosovo not realistic

TIRANA, Sept 25 (Hina) - Albanian President Sali Berisha has assessed that Serbia's refusal to accept plans for defining Kosovo as an independent state is not realistic and therefore the international community will perhaps have to impose the solution for Kosovo's final status.

"I hold that Serbia still has an unrealistic attitude towards the status of Kosovo, however, the lack of reality should not be a barrier for defining the final solution," the Albanian premier told reporters in Tirana on Sunday.

He said that it would be desirable that the two sides reach a consensus. However, he added, "in the last 150 years of the Balkan history, all agreements were imposed."

According to him, Albania believes that the defining of Kosovo's status and its independence are of vital importance for peace and stability in the Balkans.

Kosovo, which is formally a part of Serbia, is now under UN administration which was established after the 1999 NATO air strikes against Serbian forces that used to persecute local Albanians during the Slobodan Milosevic autocratic rule. Kosovo Albanians, who account for 88 percent of province's population, insist on its independence. Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica believes that Kosovo Albanians' plans can be thwarted with the adoption of a new Serbian constitution stipulating that Kosovo belongs to Serbia, which is why talks between Serbian parliamentary parties on the text of a news constitution are being intensified.

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