Serbia says West is “threatening” it to give up Kosovo

Serbia has blamed the west for “threatening” it to give up Kosovo, according to the Prime Minister, Vojislav Kostunica.  Mr. Kostunica has asked — poetically, I’m sure — whether Serbia will “succumb” to this “violence.”  It’s a bit unclear what “threats” Serbia is receiving, much less how these “threats” amount to “violence.” 

Perhaps the “threat” is that Serbia gave up the right to play the sympathy card back in 1998-99?  Perhaps the “threat” is that if Serbia wants any chance of membership with the EU, it should seek a solution, as opposed to repeating the same line that Kosovo should be something akin to Puerto Rico or Hong Kong?  Perhaps the “threat” is that Kosovo has the better cards to play than the Serbians do, and the Serbians know it?     

West ‘threatening’ Serbia to give up Kosovo: PM

Source: Agence France-Presse English Wire Date: November 22, 2007

BELGRADE, Nov 22, 2007 (AFP) – Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica said Thursday that Belgrade was being pressured and threatened to give up its breakaway Albanian-majority province of Kosovo.

“Serbia has lately been subject to such pressures and completely open threats, exerted on Serbiaand its citizens, who are asking (us) to find the right response,” Kostunica said without elaborating.  Kostunica, a nationalist with a tough line on Kosovo, said powerful Western nations were asking Serbia to voluntarily give up the province and to be an accomplice to the creation of a new Albanian state.

“We must now decide whether Serbia will succumb to this violence and become the first country in Europe to have been humiliated by a land grab since the Munich Agreement,” he said.

The 1938 Munich Agreement between Britain, France, Germany and Italy led to the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia by Adolf Hitler’s troops. Kostunica said he had been “persuaded” that Serbia had no other response to “these threats and proposals for rewards” other than to “reject them on the basis of rights and justice.”

Serbian and Kosovo officials failed Tuesday to make any breakthrough in talks on the province’s future status, but are set to launch a last-ditch effort over three days in Baden, Austria, next week. Belgrade insists Kosovo is an integral part of its territory and history and is willing to grant its southern province wide autonomy, but not the independence demanded by the ethnic Albanian majority there.


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