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Merkel Rejects Serbian Proposal to Divide Kosovo

Emerging from talks with visiting Serbian President Boris Tadic, German Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected Wednesday proposals for an ethnic division of Kosovo.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Serbian President Boris Tadic

Tadic' Berlin visit signaled a interest in closer ties with the EU

Reports from Belgrade the previous day suggested that Tadic himself had suggested division as a compromise, but in Berlin, Tadic said that he had been misunderstood.

The interpretation of what he said had been "politically wrong," he told reporters.

About 50 nations, including Germany, have recognized Kosovo as independent, whereas Serbia insists Kosovo still belongs to it.

Tadic said Belgrade would never recognize its independence, but was making an effort to shift the Kosovo issue "from the political corner to the legal corner" by taking it to the International Court of Justice.

He said it was asking the United Nations to refer the matter to the court in The Hague. About 100,000 ethnic Serbs live in Kosovo and their towns have largely rejected government by Pristina.

The Tadic visit to Berlin was seen as part of the president's efforts to develop closer ties with the European Union. He was also meeting with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

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