BELGRADE (Reuters) – Serbia needs to accept that it has lost control over Kosovo, its former southern province, and it must seek a compromise to normalize ties with Pristina, President Aleksandar Vucic told parliament in unusually blunt terms on Monday.
Majority-Albanian Kosovo declared independence in 2008, almost a decade after NATO air strikes wrested control of the territory away from Belgrade, ending a brutal counter-insurgency by Serbian security forces.
Serbia - Constitution - Considers - Kosovo - Part
But Serbia, which under its constitution considers Kosovo an integral part of its territory, has been blocking Kosovo from membership of international institutions including Interpol and UNESCO. It also still provides financial aid to Serbs in Kosovo.
For years, Kosovo’s independence has been a taboo topic in Serbia because most Serbs regard it as the cradle of their nation and of the Orthodox Christian faith.
Vucic - Monday
But Vucic spoke plainly on Monday.
“We need to recognize that we have been defeated.. We lost the territory,” Vucic told parliament during a special session dedicated to Kosovo.
Lies - Deceit - Everyone - Authority - Kosovo
“I did not opt to continue with lies and deceit. I have told everyone: There is no Serbian (visible) authority in Kosovo except in hospitals and schools,” he said.
Serbia and Kosovo agreed to an EU-sponsored dialogue in 2013 to resolve all outstanding issues between them, which was key for both countries to progress towards membership in the European Union. But little progress has been achieved since then.
Talks - November - Pristina - % - Tax
Their talks became deadlocked last November when Pristina introduced a 100% tax on all goods imported from Serbia. That move is expected...
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