Priština "declared independence legally" - U.S. embassy
BELGRADE -- "The Kosovo parliament declared the independence of Kosovo from Serbia in a legitimate democratic process under UN administration," says the U.S. embassy.
This happened "after all other options were exhausted," a statement added late last week.
The U.S. embassy in Serbia reacted after Tanjug asked for a comment on a recent statement by U.S. President Barack Obama that "an independence referendum" took place in Kosovo in 2008 - a claim that Russia said it found "astonishing."
Asked by Tanjug if they could comment on Obama’s recent statement that Kosovo broke away from Serbia only after a referendum was organized there in line with international law and in cooperation with the UN and its neighbors, the U.S. embassy said:
“The president was referring to the unique situation in Kosovo in which independence emerged from many years of exhaustive negotiations and engagement led by the international community. UN Security Council Resolution 1244 established a special legal regime for Kosovo under UN administration and provided for a political process for determining Kosovo’s future status, which included the possibility of independence."
"Unlike Crimea, in Kosovo there was a legitimate democratic process, under UN Administration, that included a free and fair vote to constitute a representative Kosovo parliament, which legally declared independence, after other options were exhausted," the embassy said.
On Wednesday, Obama gave a 40-minute speech in front of about 2,000 guests at the Center for Fine Arts in Brussels, accusing Russia of twisting facts concerning the Crimea issue when it said Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence was a precedent.
“NATO only intervened after the people of Kosovo were systematically brutalized and killed for years. Kosovo only left Serbia after a referendum was organized – not outside the boundaries of international law but in careful cooperation with the United Nations, and with Kosovo’s neighbors,” Obama said then.
“None of that even came close to happening in Crimea,” said the U.S. president, stating that Russia's leaders defend their actions claiming that Kosovo was a precedent and an example of Western interference in the internal matters of a small country.
The Serbian government’s Office for Kosovo stated in a release on Thursday that the unilateral declaration of independence was in fact done "during a meeting of the so-called assembly of Kosovo on February 17, 2008, and no referendum on it had been taken in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija prior to that."
A provisional UN administration was set up in KiM after the 1999 NATO air campaign against of Serbia, when Serbian forces left the southern Serbian province acting in compliance with a military agreement that was signed in Kumanovo and UN Security Council Resolution 1244.
Under the resolution, talks were supposed to be led on a highest level of autonomy for the southern Serbian province. Serbia insisted on this option but it has never even been considered.
On the contrary, under the UN interim administration and a tacit consent from the U.S. and leading Western countries, the ethnic Albanians gradually created their own institutions and eventually, on February 17, 2008, unilaterally and unconstitutionally declared the independence unrecognized by Serbia, Tanjug reported.
March 31, 2014 | 20:57 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (2) | Send comment
BRUSSELS -- The Serbian representatives voiced the "principled position" that Serbia does not want to take any steps that would erode its ties with the Russian Federation.
March 31, 2014 | 20:45 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (10) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Aleksandar Vučić says "the best possible result for Serbia and Serbs in terms of judiciary in Kosovo and Metohija was achieved, under difficult conditions."
March 31, 2014 | 16:29 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (1) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The session of the Serb Progressive Party (SNS) concerning the constitution of the future government will be held on Saturday, April 5, Tanjug said it learned.
March 31, 2014 | 15:36 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (1) | Send comment
BRUSSELS -- A spokesperson for EU's Catherine Ashton says Serbia's stance towards the crisis in Ukraine will not be the topic of today's Belgrade-Priština dialogue.
March 31, 2014 | 15:00 | Source: B92, Tanjug | Comments: (1) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- While in the government, the URS "did not siphon off money from the Serbia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SIEPA) through party members."
March 31, 2014 | 13:10 | Source: B92 | Comments: (1) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Milovan Drecun says he "does not believe that the EU will take advantage of today's round of the Kosovo dialogue to influence Serbia about Ukraine."
March 31, 2014 | 10:33 | Source: Beta, Tanjug | Comments: (3) | Send comment
BRUSSELS, BELGRADE -- Prime ministers of Serbia and Kosovo, Ivica Dačić and Hashim Thaci, are meeting today with EU High Representative Catherine Ashton for a new round of dialogue.
March 31, 2014 | 09:50 | Source: Tanjug, Večernje novosti | Comments: (1) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Leader of Progressives (SNS) Aleksandar Vučić will start official talks on forming a new government with potential partners early next week, writes a daily.
March 31, 2014 | 09:15 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (6) | Send comment
JAGODINA -- Ivica Dačić says Serbia’s national and state priorities are its road to the EU, along with fostering good relations with traditional friends at the same time.
March 28, 2014 | 17:08 | Source: B92 | Comments: (2) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Almost two weeks after Serbians voted in elections, "post-election silence" seems to be in place, with only some media speculation about the future government.
March 28, 2014 | 14:32 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- German Marshall Fund of the United States Senior VP for Programs Ivan Vejvoda says he has not spoken with anyone about joining Serbia's government.
March 28, 2014 | 12:56 | Source: Beta, Tanjug | Comments: (2) | Send comment
GRAČANICA -- Vladeta Kostić, leader of the Citizens' Initiative Srpska Vladeta Kostić urged on Friday all Serb members of the Kosovo assembly to walk out in protest.
March 28, 2014 | 11:40 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (24) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The Serbian Government Office for Kosovo and Metohija has strongly condemned a statement by Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci.
March 28, 2014 | 10:12 | Source: RTS, Tanjug | Comments: (11) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- As an EU membership candidate, Serbia must coordinate its foreign policy with the EU's positions, Serbia's chief EU negotiator Tanja Miščević has said.
March 28, 2014 | 09:48 | Source: Beta, Tanjug, Večernje novosti | Comments: (63) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Western countries are asking from future PM Aleksandar Vučić that Serbia "joins the EU sanctions against Russia because of the crisis in the Crimea."
March 27, 2014 | 17:17 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (0) | Send comment
VIENNA -- Serbian and Austrian president Heinz Fischer and Tomislav Nikolić warned on Thursday about the consequences of introducing sanctions against Russia.
March 27, 2014 | 16:08 | Source: B92 | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- SDPS party leader Rasim Ljajić says he was "against Aleksandar Vučić when that was needed" - but that now "there's no reason to be against the SNS."
March 27, 2014 | 15:47 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (0) | Send comment
VIENNA -- Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić on Thursday started his two-day official visit to Austria with a meeting with his Austrian counterpart, Heinz Fischer.
March 27, 2014 | 13:15 | Source: Blic, Tanjug, Večernje novosti | Comments: (1) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The Progressives (SNS) are "close to the decision" to form a government only with parties of national minorities, writes a newspaper.