Serbian FM says many countries under strong pressure to recognize Kosovo

Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said on Friday that the countries that support Kosovo's unilateral independence were continuing to exert strong pressure on the states of the region and the Islamic world to recognize Kosovo. ( Xinhua )

"Some of Serbia's neighbors have failed to resist this pressure. I have spoken to all the three foreign ministers of these countries and two of them admitted to me that, unfortunately, they were no longer able to resist the pressure," Jeremic told the national news agency Tanjug.

"The fact that these states decided to do this together presents a precedent," he said.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia on Feb. 17. By Thursday, 33 countries had formally recognized Kosovo's independence, including the United States, Canada, Japan, and 18 EU members.

Serbia and its ally Russia strongly oppose Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence.

Jeremic reiterated that Serbia "stated clearly that any country that decides to violate the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Serbia with a unilateral move, which they are doing with the recognition of Kosovo, will not be able to rely on maintaining the same level of relations with Serbia."

On Wednesday, EU diplomatic sources told Tanjug that Brussels and Washington have ordered the start of "the second wave of recognition" of the secession of Kosovo, with the aim of isolating Russia within the G8 and trying to surround Serbia as much as possible with neighbors who recognize Kosovo.

Japan and Canada recognized Kosovo on Tuesday, while Serbia's three neighbors Bulgaria, Hungary and Croatia announced in a joint statement on Wednesday that they have decided to recognize Kosovo.

One of the key reasons for stepping up pressure on the five countries to recognize Kosovo as soon as possible should be viewed with the fact that the expected wave of recognition by Muslim states has not happened, after Turkey was defeated last week at a summit of the Organization of Islamic States in Dakar, Senegal, when it failed to carry out Washington's instructions and force an avalanche of recognitions, the EU sources said.

They said that the message sent out by Brussels and Washington to the "undecided" countries is clear: if the richest and the closest neighbors can do it, so can you.

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