Favorite to win Czech elections calls Kosovo "terrorist"

PRAGUE -- The favorite to win the Czech presidential elections runoff, Miloš Zeman, has voiced strong criticism of Kosovo.

Speaking for the ČTK news agency he said that if elected, he would "not allow a Czech ambassador to be sent to Priština".

"I would withdraw even the charge d'affaires that is there now, let alone send an ambassador. I consider Kosovo a terrorist regime financed by narco-mafias," Belgrade-based daily Danas is quoting Zeman as saying.

According to opinion polls, Zeman is more likely to win in the second round of the elections, scheduled for late January. His opponent is Karel Schwarzenberg.

It was the opposition of the outgoing president, Vaclav Klaus, that prevented the appointment of an ambassador in Priština, although the Czech Republic is among the 22 of EU's 27 nations that have recognized Kosovo.

Ethnic Albanians there five years ago unilaterally declared independence - a proclamation that Serbia rejects and considers unconstitutional.