Slovakia: Gasparovic warns against quick independence of Kosovo
Gasparovic added that Slovakia would support such a solution to the Kosovo problem that would satisfy both Kosovo Albanians and Belgrade. "Kosovo should remain a multi-ethnic region within Serbia or a certain autonomy," Gasparovic told reporters. "I cannot imagine that Serbs who were forced to leave the area could not return to their property and relatives," Gasparovic stressed. Most Kosovo Albanians are striving for their independence while the Serbian government rejects it.
Slovakia has been an elected member of the U.N. Security Council since January, and that is why it will probably participate in the decision-making on Kosovo's final status. Gasparovic was accompanied by the wives and relatives of the Slovak soldiers serving in Kosovo at the Sajkovac base. At the Sajkovac base, Gasparovic today also laid a wreath at the memorial to the victims of the Slovak military plane crash in which 42 people perished.
The Slovak AN-24 plane with 43 people aboard, most of them soldiers, returning home from a KFOR mission in Kosovo, crashed in the mountainous area of northeast Hungary closely before the planned landing in Kosice, east Slovakia, on January 19. Only one soldier, lieutenant Martin Farkas, survived the accident. Over 130 Slovak troops serve in Sajkovac along with Czech colleagues with whom they operated in the same battalion until last year.