"Cyprus will never recognize Kosovo"

BELGRADE -- The presidents of Serbia and Cyprus, Boris Tadić and Demetris Christofias, met in Belgrade on Monday.

Christofias and Tadić in Belgrade on Monday (Beta)
Christofias and Tadić in Belgrade on Monday (Beta)

Tanjug reports that they agreed that the definition of Kosovo's future status and Serbia approaching the European Union were two separate processes.

Tadić and Christofias assessed that a lasting and stable solution to the problems in Kosovo could be reached only by way of compromise which both sides would find satisfactory.

Cyprus will never recognize Kosovo, the country's president sent out his message from Belgrade today.

Tadić pointed out that Serbia was not blocking the participation of UNMIK-Kosovo in international processes, and that Belgrade found as acceptable Kosovo's participation in international forums provided that it was in keeping with UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and that it did not violate the territorial integrity of Serbia.

“No one can set a condition to Serbia to recognize the unilateral and illegal proclamation of Kosovo independence in order to be admitted into the EU, since that would be in contradiction with the principles of the EU itself and the Copenhagen criteria," he said, pointing out that Serbia would not give up on either of its strategic goals – EU membership and preservation of Kosovo within her borders.

The president of Cyprus, one of the five EU states that have not recognized Kosovo Albanians' unilateral secession proclamation, underlined that his country had no intention of changing its position regarding that issue.

"The issue of Kosovo is a matter of law and the preservation of territorial integrity, and Serbia can require EU membership regardless of that problem," Christofias said.

He reminded that in 1974, Yugoslavia showed solidarity during the Cypriot crisis, and said he was pleased with Belgrade's continued insistence that the problem of the divided island "must be found within the framework of international law".

"Cyprus has not recognized the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo and we will not recognize it in the future. We are on your side, not only because your case is similar to ours, but because it is a matter of principles," Christofias told his Serbian hosts.