Tadic: Serbia Didn't Recognize Kosovo
The seminal Serbia-Kosovo agreement reached Friday is a welcome success, but it in no way implies a recognition of Kosovo's independence by Serbia, stated Serbian President Boris Tadic.
Friday, following resumed talks Wednesday upon EU pressure, the two parties agreed in Brussels to participate in regional cooperation initiatives and jointly manage their border.
Previously Serbia had refused to sit in international forums with representatives from Kosovo, since it does not regard its breakaway province as an independent country.
"I stress that according to the agreement, Kosovo will not be present in international forums as an independent state," said Tadic Friday.
"Pristina will be taking part in such meetings under the label "Kosovo*", with a footnote clarifying international decisions on Kosovo's controversial status," clarified the Serbian President.
In a pre-emptive interview published Friday by Kosovo newspaper express, Kosovo PM Hashim Thaci had said that the agreement would imply a de facto recognition of independence on the part of Serbia.
Speaking after the agreement was reached Friday, Thaci also welcomed the development, saying it "makes Kosovo a European Kosovo and is key to Kosovo's integration in the international community."
Thaci further clarified that the solution reached is not the optimal for Kosovo, but was the best compromise available.
On his part, Serbian President Tadic stated that the treaty defended Serbia's interests in the best way possible, and would actually help the country "gain a stronger influence on political and economic processes in Kosovo."
Tadic also stressed that in brokering the deal, Serbia was pursuing its goal to imminently receive an official status as EU candidate country, a pre-condition for which was a resumption of dialogue with Kosovo on a stable basis.
Serbia hopes to get EU candidate status at the upcoming European Council March 1-2, after its hopes were dashed at a prior EU summit early December 2011.
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