Serbia and Kosovo spar at UN

2012-08-22 13:03
Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci. (AFP, File)

Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci. (AFP, File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Geneva - Serbia and Kosovo's prime ministers sparred at the UN Security Council on Tuesday over the future of Kosovo, displaying bitter divisions between the rivals despite their support for European Union-brokered technical talks that are meant to promote co-operation.

Serbia's Prime Minister Ivica Dacic said his country "will never, under any circumstances, implicitly or explicitly, recognise the unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo's ethnic Albanian authorities".

Kosovo's Prime Minister Hashim Thaci countered that Kosovo is a state recognised by nearly half the UN's 193 members and its territorial integrity "will never be put into question".

Kosovo came under UN and Nato administration after a 1999 Nato-led air war halted former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic's crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists in Kosovo, a province of Serbia.

But the Security Council resolution that established the interim UN administration left Kosovo's final status in question.

Kosovo's predominantly ethnic Albanian leadership declared independence from Serbia in February 2008, with strong backing from the United States and major EU nations.

Credibility at stake

But the Serbian government, strongly supported by Russia, insists that Kosovo is still legally bound by the Security Council resolution, and the UN — at Moscow's insistence — still retains overall authority in Kosovo, though many responsibilities were transferred to the EU and a EU peacekeeping force.

The EU-led talks reached agreement in seven areas but have been on hold for several months because of Serbia's recent elections, and each side accused the other of failing to implement all provisions.

Kosovo's Thaci said Serbia has not signed a protocol on managing the Serbia-Kosovo border and refuses to implement an agreement on regional co-operation.

"The credibility of this technical dialogue is at stake and we call upon Serbia to deliver what we have agreed to during this process," he said.

Serbia's Dacic said "the new Serbian authorities intend to implement all the agreements reached so far, insisting at the same time that Pristina must do so as well".

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's latest report on Kosovo circulated on Tuesday said that differing interpretations by the two sides on the co-operation agreement led to problems in a number of regional meetings.

Reducing tensions

Dacic said Serbia's position is that "Kosovo cannot be allowed to accede to any international organisation in which membership is reserved for sovereign states".

While the EU-led technical talks should continue, he said, they are "not a panacea" and he urged high-level negotiations on all outstanding issues.

A 25-nation group supporting Kosovo's independence and supervising its democratic progress announced in July that it will end oversight of Kosovo in September.

The move reflected confidence that Kosovo's leadership could reduce tensions between majority ethnic Albanians and minority Serbs, but international military and police units will still patrol Kosovo to lower the risk of ethnic violence.

Kosovo's Thaci called the decision an "enormous milestone" which reflects confidence "that Kosovo, with the support of its current leadership and its people, will successfully join the European Union in the coming years".

But Dacic said, "It is the view of Serbia that the only institution of indisputable and universal legitimacy authorised to make the sort of changes the report indicates are taking place is the Security Council."

Read more on:    un  |  hashim thaci  |  ban ki-moon  |  kosovo  |  serbia

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Perfect dog-walking 1: Why dogs pull on the lead

Some dogs go mad the minute they see the leash, drag their owner out the door and once outside start spinning, leaping about and pulling their humans off their feet.



SA stats: The role of pets in families
The top 6 poisonous foods for your pet
Does your dog have separation anxiety?
Fascinating facts about dogs
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.