18 September 2006

PM Attends Divine Liturgy at Chilandar

Kostunica attends consecration of the Church of the Holy Archdeacon Stefan near Hilandar
Belgrade/Hilandar, Sept 18, 2006 – Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica who is staying in Hilandar monastery, attended today the morning liturgy in the monastery and the consecration of the Church of the Holy Archdeacon Stefan, near Hilandar.
Hilandar monasteryKostunica thus wraps up his visit to Hilandar, following which he will travel to Thessaloniki, where he will meet with Mayor of Thessaloniki Vassilios Papageorgopoulos to discuss the renovation of Hilandar, as well as cooperation between the businesspeople of Serbia and Thessaloniki.The delegation in Hilandar with Kostunica includes Metropolitan Amfilohije, academician Matija Beckovic, advisor to the Serbian Prime Minister Vladeta Jankovic, Serbian Minister of Interior Dragan Jocic and Serbian Minister of Capital Investment Velimir Ilic.
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Serbia PM pledges to military never to give up Kosovo
September 16, 2006 1:51 PM
BELGRADE, Serbia-Serbia's prime minister pledged at a military parade Saturday that his country will never give up Kosovo, describing the province as "the heart" of Serbia and vowing to prevent its possible secession.
Vojislav Kostunica spoke as fighter jets flew low over downtown Belgrade, where virtually the entire state leadership attended a grandiose graduation ceremony for about 200 cadets from Serbia's Military Academy.
Kostunica did not threaten the use of force, but said that "Kosovo has always been and forever will remain within Serbia."
Kosovo has been an international protectorate since 1999 when NATO bombing forced Serbia to stop its crackdown on the province's ethnic Albanian separatists and hand over authority there to a U.N. mission and the alliance.
U.N.-mediated negotiations, which began in February, aim to settle the province's status by the end of the year.
While formally still part of Serbia, Kosovo may become an independent state if the United States, Britain, Germany, France, Russia and Italy, which are overseeing the talks, agree to a redrawing of borders and accept the ethnic Albanians' demand for sovereignty.
A U.N. mediator warned Friday the talks were not making progress, raising the prospect of the U.N. Security Council possibly imposing a solution.
Reiterating Belgrade's offer that Kosovo should enjoy broad autonomy within Serbia's borders, Kostunica said, "We should all build a democratic Serbia together with all who live in Kosovo."
The province's population of 2 million is 90 percent ethnic Albanian. About 100,000 Serbs still live there, down from more 300,000 before the war.
"Serbia will defend Kosovo with all democratic and legal means," Kostunica said at the first military parade in the Serbian capital in nearly 30 years.
President Boris Tadic, considered moderate and pro-Western, also gave a speech, saying that Serbia's army is a "factor of stability in the region and beyond."
In a reference to disastrous military campaigns under former leader Slobodan Milosevic during the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, Tadic vowed that the "army will never again be misused."
He also hinted at possible participation of the military in multinational deployments abroad.
"There is a need for security in various parts of the planet ... Serbia can help contribute to securing peace, which will also contribute to the credibility of our country."
He did not elaborate on the possible deployment of Serb forces, but added "the world has profoundly changed since the terrorist attacks in 2001" in the United States. "We must all adapt to that."