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The head of the Serbian Orthodox Church and President Tomislav Nikolic have urged international organisations in Kosovo to do more to guard Serbian religious sites and protect the Serbian community there.
The Serbian President, Tomislav Nikolic, and Patriarch Irinej, head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, have agreed that international organizations in Kosovo are obliged to protect the Serbian people and religious sites in what Serbia still terms its "southern province".
In their second meeting this week, the two agreed also on the need for unity among Serbs on such an issue of national interest, a statement from the Serbian Presidency said.
This was the fifth time that Nikolic met the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church since he became President in May. The purpose of the summits is to seek the Church's support for government policy on Kosovo.
The Serbian Orthodox Church has long protested against Kosovo's independence, proclaimed in 2008, calling Kosovo "Serbia's Jerusalem".
Nikolic and Patriarch Irinej expressed especial concern about the Serbian Church in Kosovo in the light of recent events related to the historic Visoki Decani monastery.
On February 8, local Albanians living near this medieval Serbian shrine protested against a decision of the Kosovo Supreme Court that confirmed the UNESCO-protected monastery's right to 23 hectares of land.
The meeting of the heads of Church and state comes after Serbia in January adopted a resolution on Kosovo.
The resolution said that while Serbia will never recognize Kosovo's independence, EU-led talks with Kosovo on "normalising" relations should continue.
The resolution was adopted along with a "platform", which demands a high level of territorial and political autonomy for Serbian municipalities throughout Kosovo.
The meeting comes a week after the Serbian President met his Kosovo counterpart, Atifete Jahjaga, in Brussels.
Economists from Kosovo and Serbia debated the future of the disputed Trepca mine complex, which according to estimates could be exploited profitably for decades to come.
A court ordered house arrest for former minister Sylejman Selimi and six other Kosovo Liberation Army ex-guerrillas over alleged war crimes against civilian prisoners in 1998.
Kosovo said it will sue companies that establish contracts with the Trepca industrial complex after the US firm New Generation Power did so without due consultation.
Leaders of Serbia and Kosovo have agreed on a harmonized plan to implement the recent Brussels-led agreement, the EU foreign policy chief announced.
Ahead of Tuesday’s meeting between Kosovo and Serbia, German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle urged both sides to take real steps to implement their EU-brokered agreement.
Officials have launched a week-long series of events aimed at raising awareness about tolerance, reconciliation and peaceful coexistence between different religious faiths in Kosovo.
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.
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.