Vuk Jeremic: Serbia Will Never Recognize Kosovo Unilateral Secession


12.03.2008 16:19 GMT+04:00

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ The situation on the ground in Kosovo has
deteriorated since its Provisional Institutions of Self-Government
declared independence last month, Serbia’s Foreign Minister told the
Security Council today, calling for Belgrade and Pristina to meet
again to try to work out a different resolution to their dispute over
Kosovo’s status.

Vuk Jeremic told a Council meeting that the "unilateral, illegal
and illegitimate declaration of independence" had brought dangerous
consequences to both the region and to global affairs, including
"a direct assault on the innate operating logic of the international

He said "those 20-something countries that furthered the secessionist
cause of the Kosovo Albanians [by recognizing the declaration of
independence] have contributed to making the international system
more unstable, more insecure, and more unpredictable" as they were
legitimizing the doctrine of imposing solutions to ethnic conflicts.

"It supplies any ethnic or religious group with a grievance against
its capital with a play book on how to achieve their ends."

Stressing that Serbia would never recognize Kosovo’s unilateral
secession, Mr. Jeremic called for the 1999 Security Council resolution
that placed Kosovo under UN administration to be observed in full.

"This is the only way to prevent a further deterioration of the
situation on the ground. There must be no erosion" of the mandates
of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), he said,
adding that no further transfers of competencies from UNMIK to another
body be allowed to take place.

Serbia’s representative said his country was "committed to open
dialogue and good-faith negotiation with all," including on issues
such as the Kosovo Serb population and the Serbian Orthodox Church
in Kosovo.

"Every day that goes by without working towards some sort of agreement
creates unsustainable hopes, irrational fears, and dangerous,
uncoordinated outcomes on the ground."

He said Serbia would not impose an embargo on Kosovo or resort to
force and he apologized for the damage to foreign embassies caused
by protesters in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, on 21 February.

"It is in our vital interest that all of Kosovo’s communities prosper –
and prosper together in peace, security and reconciliation as neighbors
in a progressive society of hope and forgiveness."

After Mr. Jeremic’s briefing, Council members then went into
consultations on the issue. Belgrade and Pristina have been unable
to reach agreement on Kosovo’s status, which had been the subject of
months of negotiations led by the troika, comprising the European
Union, Russia and the United States. That group was set up after a
stalemate emerged over a proposal by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s
Special Envoy, Martti Ahtisaari, for a phased process of independence
for Kosovo, the UN news center reports.