Partition of Kosovo "not Serbia's state position"

BELGRADE -- The idea to partition Kosovo, which has been increasingly mentioned by some officials, is not Serbia's official state position, B92 was told at the government.

The idea was recently mentioned by Belgrade Kosovo talks team chief Borislav Stefanović, to be brought up again by Deputy PM and Interior Minister Ivica Dačić, who spoke for a Priština-based Albanian language daily.

But government's press office chief Milivoje Mihajlović told B92 that such statements should be interpreted as "private opinion".

"The government of the Republic of Serbia has never had a partition of Kosovo on its agenda, nor has any other forum of the government discussed this issue. The government policy on Kosovo and Metohija remains unchanged, all all statements can be interpreted as private opinion," he said.

Political Science Faculty professor Predrag Simić told B92 that the statements could also be interpreted as "putting out feelers".

In case the subject is opened, he believes ethnic Albanians from southern Serbia would request "exchange of territory".

"There are some positions which in public do not have a private opinion," said Simić, adding that whatever persons holding such positions say represents their party's stance, "all the more so if it is a ruling party".

He added that a topic has been opened that could "cause an awful lot of problems". The professor believes that "when this is talked about one should bear in mind not only Kosovo, but also Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Sandžak."