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Serbia must be taken into account over Kosovo - Russian patriarch

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The Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Alexy II said on Tuesday that the world community should take into consideration the opinion of Serbs when determining Kosovo's status.
STRASBOURG, October 2 (RIA Novosti) - The Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Alexy II said on Tuesday that the world community should take into consideration the opinion of Serbs when determining Kosovo's status.

During his address to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the patriarch expressed regrets that a lot of people who had never been to Kosovo and do not know what the region means for Serbs are engaged in determining its status.

He said Kosovo is "a sacred land for Serbs" and "to ignore it means to insult and abase the whole nation".

At the meeting with PACE President Rene van der Linden he said Russia can not remain silent while UNESCO world heritage churches dating from the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries are being destroyed.

He warned against a unilateral and biased approach to the problem, and called for the involvement of religious organizations, including the Russian Orthodox Church, in peacekeeping activities in Kosovo.

Kosovo, a region with a predominantly Muslim Albanian population, has been under UN administration since 1999. Serbia is ready to grant broad autonomy to the region while the majority of Albanians would prefer total independence.

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