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Serbian Parliament Debates New Draft Resolution on Kosovo

Serbian lawmakers have debated a draft resolution on Kosovo, which calls for a vigorous response against any unilateral recognition of the province's independence.

Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica and President Boris Tadic Tuesday asked members of parliament to support the draft resolution submitted by the government. They said only the U.N. Security Council can make a legitimate decision on the future status of the province.

Most parties in the parliament said they would support the draft resolution, submitted on Monday.

The resolution defines Kosovo as an inalienable part of Serbia and calls for tough measures against any unilateral recognition of the province.

Kosovo's leaders said on Monday that the province's ethnic Albanian majority will not declare independence from Serbia without U.S. and European Union involvement.

The United States and European Union took the Kosovo issue away from the United Nations Security Council and handed it over to the six-nation Contact Group last week. Russia has threatened to veto any resolution that is not acceptable to both Belgrade and Pristina. Contact Group members - the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Russia - do not have veto power.

Kosovo has been under U.N. administration for the past eight years.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.