Kosovo justice minister calls Serbian resolution "nonsense"

Other News Materials 15 February 2008 00:14 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa )- Kosovo Justice Minister Nekibe Kelmendi on Thursday described as "nonsense" Belgrade's resolution to "annul" Pristina's declaration of independence for the breakaway Serbian province.

"The Serbian resolution with which it thinks it can annul Kosovo independence is meant only for internal consumption and politics in Serbia," Kelmendi said.

The Serbian government passed a resolution earlier on Thursday that would "annul" an eventual declaration of independence by Pristina, deeming such an action illegal and a violation of Serbia's territorial integrity and sovereignty.

The minister said the resolution was just like the preamble Serbia put in its constitution in which Kosovo is described as "an integral part of Serbia."

While Serbia maintains that the United Nations resolution - which put a UN administration and NATO peacekeeping forces in Kosovo after bloody ethnic conflicts ended in 1999 - guarantees its sovereignty over Kosovo, Kelmendi said that the opposite is true.

"It is paradoxical for Serbia to ask that (UN) resolution 1244 be respected while it violates the resolution itself, since the resolution gives sovereignty to the UN," Kelmendi said.

"All such moves would be nonsensical and invalid," Kelmendi said of the annulment resolution.

Kosovo leaders are expected to proclaim the independence sought by its 90-per-cent ethnic Albanian population as soon as Sunday.

Belgrade said its parliament would adopt the resolution as soon as independence was declared, nullifying the act.

Big Western powers are expected to recognize Kosovo's independence swiftly, with only Russia, which blocked Kosovo independence in the UN Security Council, and a very small number of European countries showing support for Serbia's stance.