Serbia's Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic has stressed in Bulgaria's capital that Kosovo would remain Serbian forever, local press reported Thursday.
Jeremic said that during the meeting of the foreign ministers of the countries participating in the Southeast Europe Cooperation Process.
Serbian protestors take part in a rally in Mitrovica, northern Kosovo, February 26, 2008. Local protestors rally everyday since the Kosovo's authorities unilaterally declared its independence on February 17, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)
Jeremic used a harsher tone when expressing his country's position on the Kosovo independence, which he described as an illegal act.
Jeremic explicitly underscored that international law favors the Serbian side, and protested against the countries that have already given recognition to the former Serbian province.
Meanwhile it became clear that Serbia had withdrawn its ambassador from Switzerland, which together with Austria recognized independent Kosovo on Wednesday.
Bulgaria's Foreign Minister Ivailo Kalfin commented after the forum that Serbia's harsher tone was understandable and hardly surprising.
"Kosovo also declared its desire to participate in the regional cooperation process as a separate player after its independence gains wider international recognition," said Kalfin, adding that regional cooperation should include all and no states should be isolated.
The Sofia forum was the last meeting of the Southeast Europe Stability Pact, and the first of its successor organization – the Council for Regional Cooperation.
All of the participants declared their orientation in the direction of European Union and North Atlantic integration.
The meeting was attended by 10 foreign ministers, 10 deputy foreign ministers, and representatives of international institutions such as the Central European Initiative, NATO, NATO's Economic Committee for Europe, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the World Bank, the European Investment Bank, the European Development and Reconstruction Bank. Countries such as the United States, Russia, and Japan were also represented.
(Xinhua News Agency February 29, 2008)