Serbia asks for heritage site protection

Oct. 31, 2011 at 6:01 PM

PARIS, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Addressing UNESCO Monday, the Serbian foreign minister said Serbian Orthodox Church sites cannot belong to the Republic of Kosovo.

"In this organization, we are supposed to protect and nurture cultural identities, not be complicit in politicized attempts to carve up new ones," said Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization general conference in Paris.

Jeremic said as a member of UNESCO, Serbia will increase its efforts to protect at-risk cultural sites worldwide, Tanjug reported.

"Everyone knows that Serbs and [ethnic] Albanians disagree about Kosovo's final status. But I want to be very clear: UNESCO is not the forum for airing political disagreements, directly or through proxies," Jeremic said.

Serbia is home to four UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Danger, which Serbia is responsible for safeguarding, Jeremic said.

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