Serbian parliament adopts resolution on Kosovo

PanARMENIAN.Net

Serbian parliament adopts resolution on Kosovo
27.12.2007 15:48 GMT+04:00

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Serbia’s parliament overwhelmingly
adopted a resolution Wednesday that threatens to halt
the country’s integration into the European Union and
cut off diplomatic ties with Western countries if they
recognize Kosovo’s independence.

The resolution – passed with 220 votes in favor, 14
against and three abstentions – obliges Serbian
officials to reject Kosovo’s statehood and denounces
NATO for allegedly supporting Kosovo Albanians. It
also denounces the idea of sending an EU mission to
Kosovo.

Ethnic Albanians, who account for about 90 percent of
Kosovo’s 2 million people, have said they would
proclaim independence early next year.

The U.S. and several EU states have said they would
recognize Kosovo’s independence because it has not
been under Serbia’s control since 1999, when NATO
intervened to stop former Serbian President Slobodan
Milosevic’s military crackdown against the
separatists.

Serbia, backed by Russia, insists Kosovo – considered
the cradle of Serbia’s medieval state and religion –
should remain part of its territory, and has urged
more negotiations with Kosovo Albanians.

During a fiery debate in Parliament, Prime Minister
Vojislav Kostunica accused the U.S. of blocking
efforts to find a compromise with ethnic Albanians by
its open support of Kosovo’s independence.

"America is openly striving for the destruction of the
international order," Kostunica told the parliament.
"America, which once seemed like a symbol of freedom,
now advocates the policies of force."

Serbia’s pro-Western President, Boris Tadic, was more
moderate in his speech, saying Serbia must strive to
keep Kosovo, but that it should not give up "its
European future" along the way.

The resolution says Serbia must "reconsider"
diplomatic ties with Western countries that recognize
Kosovo’s statehood. It says that, because of NATO’s
support for Kosovo’s independence, Serbia must remain
outside the Western military alliance.

The document also said the possible signing of a
pre-membership trade and aid deal with the European
Union in January "must be in the function of
preserving the country’s sovereignty and territorial
integrity." Kostunica clarified that Serbia would not
join the EU if the bloc recognized Kosovo’s
independence. "Serbia can join any integration only as
a whole and not a truncated country," Kostunica said,
the AP reports.

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