21 March 2007

Kosovo Independence Most Dangerous Issue In Europe: Serbian PM

Deutsche Presse Agentur, 02:17 PM, December 25th 2006

The prospect of Kosovan independence and the breakup of Serbia is the "most dangerous and most destructive" idea in Europe today, Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica said Monday.

Such a development would have "unforeseeable" consequences for international stability, Kostunica said in comments carried by Serbian news agency Beta.

Any future resolution of the status of Kosovo must be based on the foundation that Serbia's borders remain unchanged, Kostunica said. The international community must be mindful of the United Nations charter and prevent division of the territory of a democratic state, he added.

Kosovo has been a virtual UN protectorate since 1999, when NATO ousted Belgrade's security forces from the province to end a bloody ethnic war.

While the Albanian majority living in the breakaway Serbian province is pulling for independence, the Serbian government continues to insist on its sovereignty over Kosovo.

The UN Kosovo envoy Martti Ahtisaari, mediating talks between Belgrade and Pristina since the start of 2006, is expected to present a status solution proposal for Kosovo immediately after the Serbian parliamentary elections, scheduled for January 21.