Serbia extremist: Armed option for Kosovo

July 28, 2006 at 9:41 AM
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BELGRADE, Serbia, July 28 (UPI) -- A nationalist leader says Serbia will go to war to take the predominantly ethnic-Albanian Kosovo should the province declare independence.

"We shall never accept an independent Kosovo. We shall take up arms to fight forever to keep Kosovo within Serbia," Tomislav Nikolic, deputy leader of the ultra-nationalist Serbian Radical Party, said on the state-controlled, nationwide RTS Serbian Radio-Television Thursday night.

Vojislav Seselj, the leader of the extremist Radical party, has been detained in the U.N. tribunal in The Hague awaiting trial on war crimes charges in the former Yugoslavia from 1991-95.

In the past three years, Seselj's radicals have enjoyed the support between 30-40 percent of Serbs in public surveys. The Radical party is the strongest group in Serbia's parliament, but it is in opposition to a coalition of the ruling Serbian Democratic party of Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica.

In ongoing talks, led by U.N. envoys, to decide to will govern Kosovo, the Serbian government offers a high degree of autonomy for its province, while ethnic-Albanian leaders insist on Kosovo being independent of Belgrade.

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