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Europe

Serbian leader Tadic says compromises possible over Kosovo

Serbia says it's ready for possible compromises with the European Union over its breakaway former province of Kosovo, which unilaterally declared independence in 2008.

The new Kosovo flag

Kosovo's independence has been recognized by 69 countries

Serbia says it is open to international dialog on its UN draft resolution against Kosovo, which declared independence in 2008. Serbian leader Boris Tadic reiterated, however, it would never recognize the breakaway state.

The resolution, which is due to be debated next month at the UN General Assembly, calls for talks on outstanding issues between Kosovo and Serbia; it also condemns the tiny state's unilateral declaration of independence.

Serbian officials will travel to Brussels in the coming days to "talk about possible changes to the draft resolution that would be acceptable to both Serbia and big powers," Tadic was quoted as saying by the Tanjug news agency.

Students dance with the Albanian flag while celebrating the then-anticipated upcoming independence of Kosovo

Ethnic Albanians danced in the streets of Kosovo upon independence

A possible compromise "that will remain in line with Serbia's national interests but will also please big powers" will be discussed in Brussels and Washington soon, Tadic added.

Serbia tabled the draft UN resolution after the International Court of Justice issued a non-binding judgment in July that Kosovo's breakaway did not break international law.

The issue poses major complications for Serbia in its bid to eventually join the European Union, which has warned the Tadic government that its unremitting stance over Kosovo could damage its accession to the 27-nation bloc.

But Tadic said compromise was not possible on Kosovo's independence.

"Serbia will never recognize Kosovo. That is a red line that we will not cross," he said, adding that he had given that message to German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and that he was willing to "tell that to all."

Westerwelle had this week called on the Serbian government to accept the loss of its former ethnic-Albanian province, which has been recognized as an independent state by 69 countries, including the United States and most EU member-states.

He also said that all European Union members should recognize Kosovo as an independent state.

Author: Darren Mara (AFP/dpa)

Editor: Sean Sinico

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