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“If the people cannot be happy about the outcome, they can at least be at peace,” Tadic said in an interview published in the pro-government Politika daily.
Asked how Serbia may reconcile its bid to join the EU with the 27-nation bloc’s anticipated backing of Kosovo’s independence, Tadic said "it is difficult to explain that to the people.“
“There are countries in Europe which are against Kosovo's independence," Tadic said.
Tadic’s interview was published ahead of Friday's summit of EU leaders who are expected to offer Serbia a faster track towards candidacy for the membership in the bloc, but also to set the pace for Kosovo’s future independence.
The EU plan, which is being discussed at the Brussels meeting, also envisages preparations for mounting a major police and justice mission in Kosovo when it declares its independence from Serbia.
A draft summit statement, reported by news agencies, stipulates that the EU is ready to play a leading part in ensuring stability in the region by stepping up preparations for its 1,800-strong law enforcement mission in Kosovo.
The mission will be the biggest ever of its kind undertaken by the EU.
The draft also pledges economic backing for Kosovo’s economy.
However, the anticipated EU pledge to accelerate Serbia's progression towards EU candidate status is reportedly opposed by The Netherlands which insists that Belgrade should first apprehend and transfer war crimes suspects from the 1990s Balkan wars to the United Nations Tribunal in The Hague.
Most EU members believe that fast-tracking Serbia’s path to the EU would boost the chances of the country’s pro-democratic forces in the presidential election, scheduled for January 20, in which the pro-European Tadic is standing for re-election.
Asked to comment on conservative Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica’s recent statement that the EU must admit Serbia in its entirety and not without Kosovo, Tadic said that he also advocated such an approach.
"We will not make decisions that contravene our people's interests," Tadic said.
Tadic stressed he would “never accept an independent Kosovo.”
“I will never sign something like that, not only because this is my constitutional duty, but because it is my deepest belief. Such a solution contradicts the interests of both Serbia and the Kosovo Albanians," he said.
Tadic also said that Serbia would “continue to fight” against Kosovo’s independence “just like it has been fighting in the past two years, in a peaceful and democratic manner, no matter how long it may take."
Donors spent hundreds of thousands of euro building a new museum in Gjirokastra - but the results were questionable and it ultimately closed over an ideological dispute.