Serbian FM claims sees anti-Kosovo movement

Serbia's foreign minister says his government is encouraged by signs of opposition in some European countries to recognizing Kosovo as independent and believes negotiators can find compromise on the future of the breakaway province.

 Serbian FM claims sees anti-Kosovo movement

Serbia's foreign minister says his government is encouraged by signs of opposition in some European countries to recognizing Kosovo as independent and believes negotiators can find compromise on the future of the breakaway province.

Vuk Jeremic said Thursday in an interview with The Associated Press that Serbia would use a new period of negotiations over the future of Kosovo press for a solution short of independence.

The message came ahead of scheduled talks Friday with senior U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who have said repeatedly the United States supports international recognition of Kosovo's independence soon.

This week, Rice assured officials from Kosovo that the U.S. would move to recognize Kosovo soon after a new period of international negotiations.

But Jeremic seized on recent indications that some European countries are uncomfortable recognizing Kosovo without approval of the U.N. Security Council.

The EU's 27 members generally have been united in their support for a U.N. resolution that would empower the union to deploy its mission to the province and replace the current U.N. administration there.

Still, some members such as Spain, Slovakia, Greece and Cyprus have expressed reservations about the prospect of Kosovo gaining independence without a U.N. Security Council resolution — unlikely in the face of Russian opposition.

Although Kosovo remains a province of Serbia, it has been under U.N. and NATO administration since a 78-day NATO-led air war halted a Serb crackdown on ethnic Albanians in 1999.

In April, the U.N.'s special envoy on Kosovo, Martti Ahtisaari, recommended Kosovo be granted internationally supervised independence.

"There are a growing number of countries who realize that the cost of imposing a solution outside the security council is high and therefore starting to think about whether there could be a more optimal solution," Jeremic said.

U.S. and European officials have agreed to allow 120 days for further negotiations that would include talks with Kosovo and Serbia in a last attempt to reach an agreement.

He said Serbia was committed to integrating in Western Europe and would not resort to violence whatever the outcome.

"Serbia is committed to peace and will stay committed to peace under any circumstances," he said.

But Serbia will not accept Kosovo's independence.


AP

Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Temmuz 2007, 16:28
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