Serbia rejects Kosovo's entry to EU as Albanians protest

Belgrade would like to see Kosovo join EU alongside the rest of the Balkans but as part of Serbia, President Tadic said.

Serbia rejects Kosovo's entry to EU as Albanians protest

Belgrade would like to see Kosovo join the European Union alongside the rest of the Balkans but as part of Serbia, President Boris Tadic said on Wednesday.

"I would like to see not only Serbia -- which means Kosovo -- in the European Union, but all southeast countries, to be integrated in the European Union as soon as possible, I hope in 2014," Tadic told journalists.

It was his third visit since Kosovo, with a 90-percent Albanian majority, declared independence from Serbia in 2008.

Serbia is one of several Balkan countries that have applied to join the EU, but Kosovo has no immediate prospect because some EU members such as Spain and Greece do not recognise its independence.

Belgrade does not recognise Kosovo's statehood and supports its 120,000 Serb minority by creating and financing parallel government structures and refusing to recognise Pristina institutions.

About 100 Albanian protesters blocked the road for two hours en route to the monastery, where Tadic was to spend the night. NATO soldiers from Germany and Italy guarded the complex.

The Kosovo government said it allowed the visit but asked the Serbian President to refrain from making political speeches or it would ban any future visit. "We are here at Visoki Decani Monastery because of peace," Tadic said.

On Tuesday, Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu asked the European Union police and justice mission (EULEX) "to take urgent measures to stop (Serbia's) parallel structures and prevent any further destructive actions from Belgrade."

Reuters
Last Mod: 06 Ocak 2010, 23:23
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