Kosovo will never be full member of international community: Serbia

Other News Materials 19 February 2008 19:35 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - Serbia on Tuesday warned it would never consent to the membership of newly independent Kosovo to the United Nations or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Speaking at an extraordinary meeting of the OSCE's permanent council, convened by Serbia, Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic stressed that Serbia would never agree to the membership of its former southern province.

" Serbia did not consent, has not consented, will not consent. Kosovo...shall remain a part of Serbia forever," Jeremic told delegates from the OSCE's 56 member states in the tightly packed conference hall at the organization's headquarters in Vienna.

The Serbian foreign minister however refrained from discussing any possible Serbian measures.

Kosovo's self-proclaimed independence represented a violation of the "very nature of the international system", enshrined in the UN Charter, and the Helsiniki Final Act, the OSCE's founding act.

Jeremic urged international peacekeepers KFOR to remain status neutral, and to continue to abide by the legal framework of its operation, as detailed in Security Council resolution 1244.

Only that way, KFOR could "retain its capacity to prevent a repeat of the ethnic cleansing against the Serbian population, and the cultural cleansing against our nation's holy sites," as had happened in 1999 and 2004, Jeremic said.

"The abject failure of the Kosovo Albanians to embrace the 21st- century principles of Europe - such as compromise, concession and consensus-building - have produced a precedent that will create very troubling consequences to the stability of the international system," Jeremic concluded.

He warned that the Kosovo question was a severe test of the OSCE and its continued relevance.

Serbian President Boris Tadic told the United Nations Security Council on Monday that Kosovo's secession was creating a dangerous precedent for "dozens of other Kosovos" around the world.

The OSCE maintains a large-scale field mission, part of the UN interim administration in Kosovo. The 56-nation-body is the world's largest regional security body.