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Serb church against deal with Kosovo Albanians

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.cbs3springfield.com/story/21897471/serb-church-against-deal-with-kosovo-albanians Serb church against deal with Kosovo Albanians Posted: Apr 06,
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 8 6:32 AM
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      http://www.cbs3springfield.com/story/21897471/serb-church-against-deal-with-kosovo-albanians

      Serb church against deal with Kosovo Albanians

      Posted: Apr 06, 2013 11:01 AM EDT Updated: Apr 06, 2013 12:11 PM EDT
      By DUSAN STOJANOVIC
      Associated Press

      BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) - The influential Serbian Orthodox Church appealed
      Saturday against a deal with Kosovo Albanians that would pave the way
      for Serbia's European Union membership.

      The EU has given Serbia until Tuesday to say whether it would relinquish
      the control of northern of Kosovo - one of the most difficult issues
      dividing the former Serbian province - in exchange for the start of
      Serbia's EU membership negotiations.

      Talks between Serbian and Kosovo officials on the issue broke down last
      week in Brussels and Serbian leaders have since been debating whether to
      accept or reject the deal which they describe as "catastrophic" and unfair.

      Serbian Orthodox Church Patriarch Irinej said in a letter addressed to
      Serbian leaders that they shouldn't "give up, sell or betray" Kosovo for
      a "murky" EU membership promise.

      Kosovo, which declared independence in 2008, is considered by
      nationalists to be the cradle of Serbian medieval statehood and
      religion. It has been recognized by more than 90 countries including the
      U.S. and 22 of the EU's 27 members. But because of a blockade by Serbian
      allies Russia and China in the Security Council, Kosovo is not a U.N.
      member.

      Serbia relinquished the control of most of Kosovo in 1999 when NATO
      chased its troops out of the region after a three-month bombing
      campaign. Ending the partition of Kosovo between the Albanian majority
      and the Serb-controlled north - about a fifth of the country - is a key
      condition of Serbia's further progress toward EU membership.

      The Serbian church leader said that the country's political leadership
      "has no mandate to accept the conditions that have never been rendered
      to any other EU candidate country."

      "The price is too high," Irinej said. "Serbia should not accept to pay
      that price for goods that may never be delivered."

      Serbian officials said they would on Monday decide whether to accept or
      reject the deal.
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