- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- All Balkan Countries
The Serbian government has adopted a long-awaited 'platform' and a resolution on Kosovo, which have not been made public but are unlikely to contain many surprises.
After two hours of discussion on Wednesday, the Serbian government unanimously adopted two binding documents on Kosovo, a resolution and a "platform".
The government is yet to make the two documents public. But Balkan Insight has learned that the resolution contains six key points.
One is that Serbia will never recognize Kosovo's independence, and another is that EU-led Belgrade-Pristina talks should continue. The others concern the status of the mainly Serbian north of Kosovo and guarantees for Serbs elsewhere in Kosovo.
Northern Kosovo, which borders Serbia, is almost entirely comprised of Serbs and the authorities there do not recognise Kosovo's independence or the government in Pristina.
The area remains under the day-to-day control of so-called parallel institutions, funded by Belgrade, including town councils, health authorities, post offices and schools.
The government session was attended by President Tomislav Nikolic, who said Serbia had showed that "it can stand unanimously behind a document, with all the reservations and apprehensions one has when talking about Kosovo.
"What we are doing today is a minimum of what we could have gotten several years ago and the maximum of what we will be able to get in a few years," Nikolic said on Wednesday, referring to a feeling that the passage of time had not assisted Serbia in its battle over what it still calls its "southern province".
The Serbian parliament is scheduled to vote on the resolution on Saturday.
“I hope that MPs will understand the importance of the moment and their responsibility because this is not some bill we should fight over,” the President noted.
Kosovo officials have dismissed the latest flurry of activity over Kosovo in Serbia. The Deputy Prime Minister, Hajredin Kuci, said the "platform" was purely for Serbia's own internal consumption and would not get much support from the international community.
"The platform is just a piece of paper for internal use," Kuci said on Wednesday.
Kosovo proclaimed independence from Serbia in 2008 and has since been recognised by 98 of the 193 UN member states, though not by five EU states, Russia or China.
As Pristina and Belgrade seek agreement on implementing their EU-brokered deal, Albanian leaders in Serbia’s Presevo Valley are urging the Kosovo authorities to help them win more rights.
The Serbian paramilitary who became a key prosecution witness at his former comrades’ trial for war crimes in Kosovo says he had to speak out about the brutal massacres his unit committed.
Despite two failed meetings about the implementation of the EU-brokered deal between Kosovo and Serbia, officials hope that prime ministerial talks next week will see progress.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has invited the Serbian and Kosovo prime ministers to a meeting next week to discuss how to implement their Brussels-brokered deal.
NATO’s Kosovo force warned that only authorised policing groups are allowed to carry weapons in northern Kosovo, not Serb-organised ‘civil defence’ units.
Former high-ranking Serbian interior ministry official Vlastimir Djordjevic admitted war crimes were committed against Kosovo Albanians during the 1999 conflict and apologised to civilian victims.
Lawmakers were advised to find different ways of remembering wartime fighters and victims after a series of parliamentary sessions commemorating individual ‘martyrs’.
Serbia's Deputy Prime Minister and leaders in the Serb-run north of Kosovo have reached an agreement on the implementation of the EU-brokered deal.
Several thousand people assembled in Belgrade’s main square, accusing Serbia’s top leaders of high treason for the recent EU brokered-deal with Kosovo.
After the two delegations failed to agree an action plan, the Serbian Prime Minister said the EU-led deal will be finalised following direct meetings with his Kosovo counterpart.
Kosovo's authority will be introduced to Serb-run northern Kosovo in three stages, BIRN can reveal, as Kosovo Serb leaders warn the EU-backed plan may prompt them to emigrate.