( dpa )- Serb President Boris Tadic told the UN Security Council Wednesday not to endorse a unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo because it would lead to unwanted consequences around the world.
Tadic travelled to New York to attend the council meeting, which was called to review the UN mission in Kosovo. Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci also attended the event, but would only be allowed to address the 15-nation council in a closed-door session.
Tadic warned that a move toward independence would encourage secession attempts by other ethnic minorities around the world.
"A unilateral recognition of Kosovo independence would no doubt be a precedent," he said. "Any hasty unilateral declaration of independence would lead to unforeseen consequences for ethnic separatism as well."
Tadic said Belgrade is ready to grant Kosovo the "largest and best" autonomy and has offered compromises during rounds of negotiations in the past two years. But he said the talks yielded no results.
Kosovo, whose population is 90 per cent Albanian, wants the status of a full-fledged state and has threatened to declare independence this year. Serbia, backed strongly by Russia, is opposed.
Tadic said Serbia wants to prepare for its future as a part of the European Union by seeking an "acceptable solution" to the dispute over Kosovo.
Tadic was the only speaker in the public meeting. The council then proceeded to the closed-door session to hear Thaci , and mostly likely Tadic if he wanted to pursue his dialogue with the council.
The council met to review work of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), which has been assisting the Kosovo Albanian government in Pristina in establishing democratic institutions and organizing elections in close cooperation with European Union groups.
Together with the EU and NATO, the UN has been training a police force for Kosovo of more than 7,000 personnel to maintain security.
But in a report to the 15-nation council in early January, UN Secretary General Ban Ki -moon said a solution to Kosovo's future status must be found "rapidly" because the current situation is unsustainable.
"Should the impasse continue, events on the ground could take on a momentum of their own, putting at serious risk the achievements and legacy of the UN in Kosovo," Ban said. "Moving forward with a process to determine Kosovo's future status should remain a high priority for the Security Council and for the international community."
The council met to discuss the report and review results of democratic reforms implemented by the UN mission in Kosovo, which are benchmarks to gauge whether the territory has made enough progress towards democracy.
The council met with both Tadic and Thaci in the past year, when discussion has focused specifically on whether to grant independence to Kosovo, which is mostly inhabited by ethnic Albanians.
Tadic had demanded in a letter Tuesday the right to "participate in the discussion" of the UN's report on the Kosovo mission while Thaci said he wanted to present "the views of the people of Kosovo."
The Kosovo issue has split the council into two camps, with the European members and the United States favouring independence for Kosovo while Russia and China are opposed. The council last met in December in an attempt to overcome its differences, but gave up on the ground that the gap was irreconcilable.
Efforts by Britain, France and Germany - the EU troika - Russia and the United States have so far failed to break the impasse between Serb and Kosovo leaders.