Serbia will never give up Kosovo, Serbia’s Minister for Kosovo Goran Bogdanovic said on Monday, noting that the secession of what Serbia still sees as its southern province “has complicated relations in the region, in Europe, even in the world”.
Kosovo declared independence on February 17, 2008 and has been recognised by major Western powers. Serbia has vowed to never recognise the breakaway.
“Kosovo is an integral part of Serbia and its provisional institutions’ one-sided decision to declare independence is contrary to UN Resolution 1244 and to international law,” Bogdanovic said in an interview to Tanjug agency. “It was an act that did not contribute to the stability. Matter of fact, it has brought an additional disturbance to already restless Kosovo.”
Serbia will continue to use legal and diplomatic means to preserve Kosovo within the state and will not yield to requests to recognise its independence or introduce good neighbourhood relations, he said.
“That is unacceptable not only for this government but also for all future governments.”
But Serbia was ready for “a serious process of talks”, he added, that will certainly be “a long, difficult process, full of challenges, but inevitable.”
The head of the UN mission in Kosovo, UNMIK, Lamberto Zannier has received an invitation for a meeting with Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic and Bogdanovic, Tanjug reported, and Jeremic said talks on Kosovo might start this week.
Bogdanovic said that help Serbs on Kosovo, his ministry has prepared a strategy for the sustainable survival and return of displaced people to Kosovo, to help them to get back their property and launch small businesses.
“It’s not an easy job, but we have to solve the problem of more than 200,000 displaced. The state has to help them to fulfill their rights and to get back what is taken away from them,” he said.