Bosnian Serb parliament on Kosovo, Srpska's independence

Other News Materials 22 February 2008 14:14 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - The Bosnian Serb Parliament has adopted a resolution condemning Kosovo's declaration of independence and mentioning again a possibility of Srpska's independence, Bosnian media reported Friday.

The resolution reached by the National Assembly of the Bosnian Serb entity, the Srpska Republic, in Banja Luka late Thursday, said Kosovo's independence was unacceptable and that Srpska itself had a right to hold a referendum on independence in case of pressures against its status within Bosnia-Herzegovina.

"If the majority of the countries of the United Nations, above all the European Union, recognize Kosovo's independence, new international principles and practices would be established in the recognition of basic rights to self-determination to independence," the resolution said.

In that case, it said, the Srpska Republic's National Assembly would have a right to decide on a possible referendum on its status.

The Srpska Republic, according to the resolution, would enter procedures for a peaceful solution of its status if Bosnia- Herzegovina's institutions refuse to accept the status and authority of the Bosnian Serb entity given by the Dayton Peace Agreement, which ended the 1992-1995 war in the country and administratively divided it into two ethnic entities.

A possible referendum, the resolution said, would also be considered if Bosnia-Herzegovina's authorities started a procedure to recognize the independent Kosovo.

Commenting on the resurrection of initiatives on the possible independence among Bosnian Serbs, the international administrator in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovak Diplomat Miroslav Lajcak warned again that such initiatives were counterproductive.

"Bosnia-Herzegovina is an internationally recognized sovereign state and its territorial integrity is guaranteed by the Dayton Peace Agreement. The Constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina stipulates that it is a state consisting of two entities and that Serbs, Bosniaks (Muslims) and Croats are its constituent peoples," Lajcak said recently in an interview with Banja Luka-based daily Glas Srpske.

He also repeated that Bosnia's constitution "does not foresee a possibility of referendum."

"Irresponsible individuals are trying to link Kosovo to Bosnia- Herzegovina. I reject these calls, Bosnia is not open to question, and I expect mainstream political leaders and the Bosnian Serb National Assembly to speak and act in a way that upholds the constitution and the peace agreement," Lajcak said.

He called again on local political leaders to "refrain from making any parallels between Bosnia and Kosovo and to focus their activities on the priorities of Bosnia-Herzegovina, with full compliance with this country's constitution and Peace Agreement."