Serbian President on Kosovo Recognition: Never!
Serbia's President Boris Tadic has reiterated that his country will never recognize Kosovo's independence.
"You know what my answer is. Never. It is a very short end clear answer," Tadic declared upon being asked about the issue. He attended a Christmas Day mass in the monastery of Visoki Decani in western Kosovo.
"We will not accept our institutions being removed in northern Kosovo," he also stated, adding that such acceptance would mean a long-term exodus of the Serbian people out of Kosovo.
"We send a message of peace to everyone, not only to Serbs but to Albanians as well," the Serbian President said during the speech he delivered in the monastery, as cited by Tanjug.
Approximately 200 supporters of the hardline ethnic Albanian Self-Determination Movement staged a protest in a town near the monastery. According to Serbian media, stones were thrown at one of the cars in the presidential motorcad.
Serbia's former province Kosovo declared independence in February 2008 after being ruled by the UN and KFOR since 1999.
As of December 2011, a total of 85 out of 193 (44%) United Nations member states, 22 out of 27 (81%) European Union member states, 24 out of 28 (86%) NATO member states, and 27 out of 57 (47%) member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) had recognized Kosovo.
Notable non-recognizers in addition to Serbia include Russia, China, Brazil, as well as Spain, Greece, Romania, Cyprus, and Slovakia in the EU.
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