Serbia says ready for talks with Kosovo

Serbia is willing to hold talks with Kosovo's Albanian leadership to discuss day-to-day issues, says Serbian President.

Serbia says ready for talks with Kosovo

Serbia is willing to hold talks with Kosovo's Albanian leadership to discuss day-to-day issues in the new European country that declared its independency a year ago, Serbian President Boris Tadic said on Tuesday.

The United Nations and European Union have suggested Belgrade and Pristina could hold talks later this month in what would be their first meeting since U.N.-mediated negotiations on Kosovo's status collapsed in 2007.

"We are ready to talk about daily, real-life issues with legitimate representatives of Kosovo Albanians, but these issues must not question Serbia's territorial integrity and sovereignty," Tadic said in an address marking his Democratic Party's anniversary.

Kosovo's Albanian majority, backed by the United States and Western countries, proclaimed independence nine years after NATO bombed Serb forces to stop ethnic cleansing against Kosovars, killing thousands.

Serbia and it ally Russia oppose independence and pledge to block Kosovo's membership in international organisations.

On Monday Serbia's Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said the Balkan country would never allow Kosovo to join the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

"Never and under no conditions Serbia will give its vote for Kosovo's membership (in the OSCE)," Jeremic said after meeting Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis.

Ethnic tensions remain high between the two-million Albanian majority and 120,000 Serbs who reject working with Pristina institutions.

Reuters
Last Mod: 04 Şubat 2009, 10:22
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