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SERBIA & MONTENEGRO: Adviser Says Serbia Not Ready to Accept Independent Kosovo

Accepting Kosovo's independence in Serbia today would amount to political suicide, Serbian President Boris Tadic's chief foreign affairs adviser, Vuk Jeremic, has told Associated Press (AP) in Washington.

"If there is an independent Kosovo right now or in the near future, Serbia will not be able to accept it," Jeremic said, "for the simple reason that whoever does it in Serbia will never be able to draw a significant number of votes in a Serbian democracy."

Jeremic is in Washington this week meeting with White House leaders and staff, urging them to endorse a Senate resolution passed seven months ago that condemned violence against ethnic Serbs in Kosovo and demanded stronger democratic institutions in the province.

"If there are certain progressive forces, pro-European and pro-Euroatlantic forces in Serbia, you do not ask them to commit suicide by asking them to accept what is simply against the deep gut feeling of the Serbian people," said Jeremic. He expressed his fear that the opposition Serbian Radical Party, successors to the late former Serbian and Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's Socialist Party of Serbia and the largest party in the Serbian Legislature, will gain a foothold in Serbian politics.

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