17 January 2007

Serbia Does Not Want Kosovo War, President Insists

Deutsche Presse Agentur, 07:25 PM, November 18th 2006

Serbia will not initiate a war in the event of the province of Kosovo achieving independence, President Boris Tadic said Saturday in Belgrade.

"Serbia would by diplomatic and legal means fight for Kosovo but would not begin a war," said Tadic, who is also commander-in-chief of the Serbian army.

"We would not be able to bear the destruction of our economic potential and would not take from an entire generation of Serbians the chance for a reasonable future," the Serbian president said.

Kosovo's majority Albanian populace seek independence from Belgrade, which insists on maintaining sovereignty over the province. Kosovo has been ruled by a UN administration since 1999, after NATO ousted Belgrade's forces from the province to end their heavy handed crackdown on an ethnic Albanian insurgency.

Tadic's comments follow demands by the popular ultranationalist Radicals party that an international proposal on the future status of Kosovo, which is scheduled to be unveiled following January Serbian elections, be blocked by military means.