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    Residents of Pristina holding a new flag of the self-proclaimed republic of Kosovo

    Belgrade Still Opposed to Kosovo's Membership of Int'l Organizations

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    Serbia's Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said that Serbia will not support Kosovo's membership of international organizations, including the UN, which would mean the legalization of its unilateral declaration of independence.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Serbia will not support the Republic of Kosovo, which Belgrade does not recognize, becoming a member of international organizations, including the United Nations, because this would equate to recognizing the unilateral declaration of independence made by Pristina, Serbia's Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said on Friday.

    Belgrade does not recognize the Kosovo statehood, which was unilaterally proclaimed in 2008, and believes Kosovo is part of Serbia. Earlier this week, US Ambassador to Serbia Michael Kirby called for normalization of the Belgrade-Pristina relations, which, according to him, should include Kosovo's UN membership.

    "Serbia will not change its policy on principle…. Serbia, of course, will not support Kosovo's membership of international organizations, including the UN, which would mean the legalization of its unilateral declaration of independence," Dacic said in a statement.

    In 1998, an armed conflict broke out between Kosovo Albanian independence supporters and Yugoslavia, with the militias were seeking independence for Kosovo and Metohija. The following year, NATO intervened in the conflict without the UN approval, and started bombing Yugoslavia.

    Since then, Belgrade has effectively lost control of Kosovo, as the Serbian government had to agree to a NATO military contingent being stationed in Kosovo, and the subsequent transition of the territory to UN administration.

    In 2008, the Albanian government of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia.

    Last month, Kosovo failed to become a member of the UN cultural agency (UNESCO), which did not surprise Belgrade, as it said Kosovo's candidacy was not viable.

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    Ivica Dacic, Kosovo, Serbia
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