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Serbia adopts Kosovo resolution

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071226/ap_on_re_eu/serbia_kosovo Serbia adopts Kosovo resolution By DUSAN STOJANOVIC, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 4 minutes
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 26, 2007
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      http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071226/ap_on_re_eu/serbia_kosovo

      Serbia adopts Kosovo resolution

      By DUSAN STOJANOVIC, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 4
      minutes ago

      BELGRADE, Serbia - Serbia's parliament overwhelmingly
      adopted a resolution Wednesday that threatens to halt
      the country's integration into the European Union and
      cut off diplomatic ties with Western countries if they
      recognize Kosovo's independence.

      The resolution — passed with 220 votes in favor, 14
      against and three abstentions — also obliges Serbian
      officials to reject Kosovo's statehood and denounces
      NATO for allegedly supporting the separatist Kosovo
      Albanians.

      Ethnic Albanians, who account for about 90 percent of
      Kosovo's 2 million people, have said they would
      proclaim independence early next year.

      The U.S. and several EU states have said they would
      recognize Kosovo's independence because it has not
      been under Serbia's control since 1999, when NATO
      intervened to stop former Serbian President Slobodan
      Milosevic's military crackdown against the
      separatists.

      Serbia, backed by Russia, insists Kosovo — considered
      the cradle of Serbia's medieval state and religion —
      should remain part of its territory, and has urged
      more negotiations with Kosovo Albanians.

      During a fiery debate in Parliament, Prime Minister
      Vojislav Kostunica accused the U.S. of blocking
      efforts to find a compromise with ethnic Albanians by
      its open support of Kosovo's independence.

      "America is openly striving for the destruction of the
      international order," Kostunica told the parliament.
      "America, which once seemed like a symbol of freedom,
      now advocates the policies of force."

      Serbia's pro-Western President, Boris Tadic, was more
      moderate in his speech, saying Serbia must strive to
      keep Kosovo, but that it should not give up "its
      European future" along the way.

      The resolution says Serbia must "reconsider"
      diplomatic ties with Western countries that recognize
      Kosovo's statehood. It says that, because of NATO's
      support for Kosovo's independence, Serbia must remain
      outside the Western military alliance.

      The document also said the possible signing of a
      pre-membership trade and aid deal with the European
      Union in January "must be in the function of
      preserving the country's sovereignty and territorial
      integrity."

      Kostunica clarified that Serbia would not join the EU
      if the bloc recognized Kosovo's independence.

      "Serbia can join any integration only as a whole and
      not a truncated country," Kostunica said.

      ___

      Associated Press Writer Jovana Gec contributed to this report.
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