Serbia needs compromise for Kosovo talks

March 27, 2006 at 11:26 AM
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BELGRADE, Serbia, March 27 (UPI) -- A Serbia-Montenegro official said Monday Belgrade should compromise with ethnic Albanians on Kosovo's future and forget past misconceptions.

Rasim Ljajic, Serbia-Montenegro minister for human and minority rights, said Serbia in the ongoing talks with Kosovo's ethnic Albanians in Vienna should use arguments which are not based on myths, the BETA news agency said.

Ljajic said Serbia should make it clear it is ready to compromise and that the situation in the southern province will never return to the times before 1999 when Yugoslavia began fracturing into separate states.

"It is hard to believe that the Albanians will accept the rule of Belgrade and therefore it should be an original solution, as was a solution ... found for Bosnia," Ljajic said.

Belgrade leaders have considered Kosovo the cradle of Serbia's Christian Orthodox religion and national identity. Ethnic Albanians are predominantly Muslim.

The United Nations have administered Kosovo since 1999 when the U.S.-NATO led air attacks stopped Serbian forces in their military campaign against ethnic Albanians.

Kosovo, whose population is 90 percent ethnic Albanian, is formally part of Serbia.

The current talks are to determine who will rule Kosovo once NATO troops and the U.N. civilian mission leave.

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