Serbia drops bid on Kosovo status

Serbia dropped its earlier challenge to reopen talks on the status of Kosovo, backing a compromise U.N. resolution on Kosovo on Thursday.

 Serbia drops bid on Kosovo status

Serbia dropped its earlier challenge to reopen talks on the status of Kosovo, backing a compromise U.N. resolution on Kosovo on Thursday.

Serbia agreed to an EU-backed dialogue with Kosovo that the nonbinding General Assembly resolution said would aim to promote cooperation.

The draft resolution, which is set to go before the UN General Assembly, now "presents a compromise which Serbia has reached in cooperation with the European Union," Serbia's government said in a statement.

The resolution was passed by acclamation by the 192-nation assembly.

The government insisted however that the draft "does not, in any way, recognise the independence" of Kosovo.

Serbia lost control of Kosovo in 1999 when NATO waged a bombing campaign to halt killings of ethnic Albanians in a two-year war. Kosovo declared independence in 2008, backed by the United States and most EU countries.

In July, in response to a Serbian request, the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled that Kosovo independence is legal.

Belgrade then turned to the United Nations, submitting a resolution and called for a "mutually acceptable solution for all outstanding issues," assumed to include the basic one of Kosovo's status.

But Serbia, which has often said it will never endorse Kosovo independence, said on Wednesday it would accept a much softer text agreed with EU officials after intense lobbying in recent weeks.

The amended text passed by the General Assembly drops condemnation of Kosovo's independence declaration, acknowledges the ICJ opinion and welcomes EU readiness "to facilitate a process of dialogue between the parties."

The assembly session was delayed nearly three hours as Serbia objected to the presence of Kosovo officials at the back of the chamber. Kosovo is not a U.N. member yet.


Agencies

Last Mod: 10 Eylül 2010, 13:26
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