Serbian FM: Vatican will not recognize Kosovo"

BELGRADE -- The Vatican does not intend to accept the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo, says Serbian Foreign Minister Ivan Mrkić.

(Beta, file)
(Beta, file)

In an interview for the daily Večernje Novosti, he added that there was no indication that the five member states of the EU which have also not recognized Kosovo would change their stance.

Mrkić said that a high ranking official of the Holy See will soon visit Belgrade, "which will be another opportunity for Serbia to point out to its principled position regarding the defense of its sovereignty and territorial integrity."

"Priština is not giving up lobbying in order to bring about new recognitions of independence, and in recent weeks and months pressure isparticularly focused on the Vatican," said the outgoing minister, and added that "Serbia's diplomacy is constantly engaged to prevent possible new recognitions" and that this activity will remain a priority of the country's foreign policy and its diplomatic network in the future as well.

Mrkić noted that "the scope and intensity of these activities is not easy to describe," because it involves "countless thoughtful and effective actions of our representatives around the world."

"It's been six years since the secessionist attempt by Priština to declare a new Albanian state on the Serbian soil. I remember back then pessimists were saying that within a year the vast majority of the UN would recognize the unilateral declaration of independence. But that did not happen," he recalled.

Mrkić said that large and influential powers, such as China, Russia, India, Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia, Iran, Argentina, have not recognized Kosovo's independence, nor do they intend to do so.

"The authorities in Priština and their powerful allies also exercise constant pressure on the five EU member states that have not recognized the so-called state of Kosovo, to change their stance," he stated, and added that there were "no such indications from Greece, Spain, Romania, Cyprus, and Slovakia."

"Our officials are especially focused on explaining the importance of the dialogue between Belgrade and Priština in all international contacts with partners who did not recognize the unilateral declaration of independence, and that Serbia does not intend to recognize Kosovo, nor can that even be the ultimate outcome of the dialogue, but that the goal is to facilitate the normal life for our citizens in Kosovo," he added.