Serbian official says Kosovo must accept ‘reality’

Rasim Ljajic says Serbia should adopt a two-pronged policy towards Kosovo: accepting the ‘reality’ of the loss of the south, while encouraging the Serb-run north to peacefully pursue its campaign for self-determination.

In a break with Belgrade’s official line on Kosovo – which is that the whole of the ex-province is an integral part of Serbia – Serbia’s Minister of Labour and Social Policy has told the newspaper “Blic” that it is time to start accepting what he calls ‘reality’.

“When it comes to talks about [Kosovo’s] status we need to accept the reality that exists in Kosovo, which is that there is one for the Serbs living south of the Ibar and another for those in the north”, Ljajic said.

The minister said Serbia should take account of those two different realities and re-set its policy accordingly.

This meant that Serbs south of the Ibar should take part in Kosovo elections and in the political process, and, effectively, accepta new life in an independent Kosovo.

Serbs in the north, meanwhile, ought to “behave like the Albanians did in the time of Rugova and Milosevic – an active politics pursued exclusively through democratic means.”

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