Kosovo's independence unacceptable for Serbian PM

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Map of Serbia and Montenegro

Saturday, May 14, 2005

During a meeting of the Democratic Party of Serbia on Saturday, the Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica said that he will not agree to Kosovo's independence, and that the solution for Kosovo is wide autonomy. "When I say autonomy, that's more than autonomy Kosovo had prior to 1999, but it is still just autonomy and not independence," Koštunica said.

After the war in 1999, Kosovo was put under UNMIK's administration, but it still officially remains a province in Serbia. The province's Albanian majority wants full independence from Serbia.

Koštunica said that Kosovo needs a solution acceptable by both parties and that an imposed solution will "jeopardize difficultly achieved stability in Serbia and the region."

Koštunica also reaffirmed his stance on participation of Serbs in Kosovo's institutions: "For now, there is no room for Serbian representatives in institutions of Kosovo."

The Serbian government had advised Serbs in Kosovo not to vote in the local parliamentary elections held last October. Koštunica said that the degree of participation depends on advancement in protection of human rights of the Serbs remaining in the province.