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FM: Serbia remains committed to EU path, not at price of Kosovo

Serbia remains committed to the path of integration into the European Union, but not at the price of Kosovo, Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said Friday.

“We remain committed to the path of European integration,” Jeremic told reporters after a short breakfast meeting with his EU counterparts, the first time for them to talk face to face since a majority of EU countries recognized Kosovo’s self-declared independence, which has angered Belgrade. Describing Kosovo as a province, Jeremic said Serbia will continue to fight the secession of Kosovo by peaceful means. “Serbia has not changed its mind. Serbia is saying time and again that we are defending our sovereignty and territorial integrity, and we are going to employ all political and diplomatic means,” Jeremic said. “Serbia is not going to use force, but Serbia will not go away diplomatically and politically,” he added.

The EU has been telling Serbia either to choose the way of European integration or face isolation. Saturday’s meeting was held at a crucial time since Serbs were scheduled to go to polls on May 11, a key test of which direction Serbia will head to. “On May 11, we will come face to face with what I consider to be the most important election in Serbia since October 2000,” Jeremic told his EU counterparts, adding the future of the Balkan country will be determined by the people.

(BBJ 31.iii.08)