Xinhua, November 25, 2007
Serbia prepares measures to reject Kosovo unilateral independence
BELGRADE, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica said on Saturday that the government has been preparing measures and action plans to reject ethnic Albanians unilateral declaring Kosovo's independence.
"The entire Serbia must strongly and unequivocally show that it does not recognize that illegal entity and that the province of Kosovo and Metohija is an integral and inalienable part of Serbia," Kostunica said in a statement.
Kosovo, which legally remains a Serbian province, has been under U.N. administration since 1999. The predominantly Albanians of the 2 million population demand outright independence instead of maximum autonomy offered by Serbia.
Fresh negotiations are continuing under the aegis of the troika of the EU, U.S. and Russian envoys, but have so far showed little sign of breaking the deadlock while the troika should present its report to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Dec. 10 about the latest talks.
The Nov. 17 general elections in Kosovo were won by the party of Hashim Thaci, former Kosovo Liberation Army commander, who announced that if the negotiations failed Kosovo could declare independence.
Kostunica underlined that the Serbian government would annul "all unilateral decisions of Albanian separatists" and that Serbian state institutions would always consider Serbs living in Kosovo Serbian citizens.
"It is of utmost importance that all Serbs remain in the province and be aware that their government and parliament are in Belgrade and that Serbia is their state," Kostunica said.
The prime minister invited all Serbian citizens never to refer to unilateral independence as an independent state.
He said that the recognition of Kosovo's unilateral independence by the United States or any other country could not "change the lack of the rule of law into a normal and ordinary thing."
"No one can deny us the right to reject unilateral independence in line with the Serbian Constitution and the U.N. Charter and no one can deny Serbia the right to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity," Kostunica said.