Serbia ‘won’t change Kosovo resolution’

Serbia is open to discussing its draft UN resolution on Kosovo, but is not ready to change or withdraw it, Serbian officials have said.

Zdravko Ponos, Serbia’s assistant minister of foreign affairs, denied media reports that Germany FM Guido Westerwelle is to visit Belgrade to tell it that it has to change its resolution in order to continue with the EU integration process.

Ponos told Serbian broadcaster B92: “Our relationship with Germany and other EU partners is not based on blackmails. We have always been for compromise, and we still are.”

“We are not ready to change our resolution draft. We are ready to discus about it and to give explanations.

“We believe the draft is balanced and reasonable. It is a call for a dialogue and this visit is an opportunity to discuss this issue,” he said.

Deputy Prime Minister Bozidar Djelic said Serbia’s final decision is that it will not withdraw its draft resolution, the daily Vecernje novosti reported.

“An agreement with the EU would be the best outcome for Serbia, but we cannot accept changes which would lead to a different meaning of the document,” he told the newspaper.

First Deputy PM and Interior Minister Ivica Dacic pointed out that Serbian goal is to keep the issue of Kosovo open at next month’s UN General Assembly meeting in New York.

“Serbia is open to all kind of talks, but it is unrealistic to expect that Serbia accepts that the UN GA adopts a resolution which would put a period on the Kosovo independence issue,” Dacic said.

German FM Guido Westerwelle is scheduled to visit Belgrade on Thursday, 26 August.

The Serbian resolution states unilateral secession is not an acceptable means to solve territorial disputes and calls for dialogue on “all open issues” in the interests of “peace, safety and co-operation” in the region.

The political future of Kosovo is the subject of a long-running dispute between the Serbian government and Kosovo’s largely ethnic-Albanian population.

The country sparked worldwide debate after it seceded from Serbia in 2008, following the 1998-99 war and nearly a decade of international administration.

The International Court of Justice, ICJ, advised on 22 July that Kosovo’s declaration of independence did not violate international law.

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