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Serbia to inform UN of US threat to recognize Kosovo independence

Serbia decided on Sunday to inform the UN Security Council of the US threat to recognize Kosovo’s independence.
“The prime minister has instructed our ambassador to the UN to immediately inform all member states of the Security Council of the open threat the US has made to Serbia’s territorial integrity,” read a statement from the office of Serbian prime minister Vojislav Kostunica. Ambassador Pavle Jevremovic will convey to the Security Council the prime minister’s message that the US “is directly endangering the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country by pursuing its policy of force."
A US State Department official has said that the US would recognize the independence of the southern Serbian breakaway province of Kosovo if extended talks between the Serbians and ethnic Albanians don’t produce any solutions by the end of the year. Kostunica cried foul on Saturday with the US stand on Kosovo, and asked the UN Security Council to take necessary measures to protect his country’s territorial integrity from the US policy of force.
Also on Sunday, Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic requested the US embassy in Belgrade to provide an explanation about the comments by the US official, calling the remarks “a blow to the ongoing negotiations.”
“The US embassy is currently in consultations with Washington and I soon expect to receive a clarification,” Jeremic told Serbian television station B92. Jeremic said that such statements in no way contribute to the negotiation process, and that they actually are a "blow to the negotiations.” Jeremic warned that “Speculation on any outcome before the negotiation process ends reduce the chances of its ending in a satisfactory way."
Kosovo, where 90% of the population of 2 million is ethnic Albanian, is still officially a province of Serbia but has been run by the UN since June 1999 when NATO forces drove out Serbian forces fighting ethnic Albanian rebels. Serbia has repeatedly stated that Kosovo is an integral part of its territory and vowed to keep it within its border, while Kosovo has said it will accept nothing short of full independence.
A troika of envoys from the European Union, the US and Russia are leading extended negotiations designed to broker a compromise between Serbia and Kosovo's ethnic Albanians. They are expected to submit their final report on the talks to the UN by December 10.


(BBJ 11.ix.07)

 
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