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Vuk Jeremic, the new Serbian president of the General Assembly, said Kosovo can forget even trying to join the UN while Serbia is presiding over the body.
Jeremic, who was appointed president of the General Assembly on June 8, said that Kosovo's application for UN membership during his presidency would be an “act of meaningless provocation” that is doomed to fail.
“As long as Serbia presides over UN General Assembly, and that is one year, this could happen only over my dead body,” Jeremic said on Wednesday.
Jeremic added that he hopes that Kosovo will not try to become UN member during his mandate, adding that the Security Council must decide on Pristina’s membership.
But, according to Jeremic, China and Russia, key members of UN Security Council, are also determined that “Kosovo is not a country and cannot be member of the UN.”
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 but Serbia has said that it will never recognise it, and that Kosovo remains a province of Serbia in Belgrade's eyes.
However, although Jeremic reiterated that Kosovo remains part of Serbia, Serbia's new nationalist President, Tomislav Nikolic, this week conceded that Serbia was unlikely to regain control over the mainly Albanian ex-province.
“I don’t think I will ever be President in Pristina", he said on Tuesday, referring to the capital of Kosovo.
Later same day, his press office attempted to clarify the President’s words, saying that Nikolic’s statement “does not imply any change in the status of the southern Serbian province".
Serbia's former president, Boris Tadic, leader of Democratic Party, on Wednesday said that Serbia accepts current reality in Kosovo.
He added that Serbia has no institutions or mechanisms to control Kosovo and that no one can deny that the independence of Kosovo is a legitimate goal for Kosovo Albanians.
On July 7, Tadic met Kosovo's Prime Minister, Hashim Thaci, in Croatia, where the two men shook hands – this marking the first time that a top Serbian politician had ever shaken hands with Kosovo's Prime Minister.
However, Tadic later stated that his handshake did not mean that Serbia should recognise Kosovo; it was designed only to help Serbia make a step forward in relations with Pristina.
“I believe that democratic dialogue must find a solution that acknowledgs the interests of both sides,” Tadic told the Croatian paper Globus on Wednesday.
In two high-profile war crimes trials currently ongoing in Pristina, a series of witnesses have retracted previous statements alleging abuse at Kosovo Liberation Army detention centres.