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Serbia passes Kosovo autonomy resolution

Jan. 13, 2013 at 11:31 AM

PRISTINA, Serbia, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Serbia's parliament voted overwhelmingly this weekend to adopt a new resolution on Kosovo that will give greater autonomy to the region.

The resolution, which passed 175-19 late Saturday, does not grant independence to Kosovo but it grants more autonomy while insisting on protections for the Serbs living in the region.

The vote came after sometimes heated debate that went on for 14 hours and was suspended twice while amendments were withdrawn, B92 said Sunday.

Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic spoke out against the resolution, vowing to "never betray Kosovo."

But President Tomislav Nikolic told the lawmakers it was time to move on from the contentious debate over Kosovo's status. "Some people did not dare solve the issue of Kosovo for eight years. I have lost much in life but I cannot lose Kosovo because it is not mine to lose," he said.

Kosovo has declared itself an independent country and seeks to join NATO.

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