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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Serbia president refuses to rule out partitioning Kosovo
Andrew Gilmore at 6:56 AM ET

[JURIST] Serbian President Boris Tadic [official website] refused to rule out partitioning parts of Kosovo [B92 report], should other options regarding the resolution of a dispute between Serbia and the newly independent state fail. In an interview with Serbian television channel RTS [official website], Tadic said that the option is "not off the table." Alexander Ivanko, the Director of Public Information for the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) [official website], responded [transcript, PDF] to Tadic's comments at a press conference on Wednesday:

Our position has always been very, very clear, and it is not only our position, it is the Contact Group position, and as far as we are concerned, there should not be partition of Kosovo, period. I do not see anything else to discuss about this issue.
Tadic's comments regarding the possible partitioning of Kosovo came as a number of European countries, including Germany [Deutche Welle report], consider possible support for Serbia's request [JURIST report] for an International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling on the legality of Kosovo's independence.

Kosovo's constitution [text] went into effect this summer [JURIST report] despite Serbia's argument that the charter of the breakaway province was legally void. Serbia does not recognize Kosovo's declaration of independence [text; JURIST report], and thus cannot recognize the country's constitution as a legal fact. Serbia's official stance is that Kosovo is in violation of the UN Charter and UN Security Council Resolution 1244 [PDF text], which reaffirms the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Serbian state. The new state of Kosovo has been recognized by the US and most European states, but not by Russia, Serbia's closest ally.

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