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Serbian President Rejects Kosovo's Independence

Czech Republic's President Vaclav Klaus (R) and his Serbian counterpart Boris Tadic smile as they attend a news conference at Lany Chateau in Lany, August 29, 2011

Serbian President Boris Tadic said Monday he would not recognize Kosovo's independence.

After meeting with Czech President Vaclav Klaus in Prague, Tadic said he would accept an European Union Rule of Law police mission for Kosovo, but refused to consider independence for the former Serbian province.

At meetings with Angela Merkel last week, Tadic agreed with the German chancellor's suggestions that Serbia accept a European Union police mission in all of Kosovo and return to talks with Pristina. She also wants Serbia to abolish its parallel administrative structures, such as post offices and schools, for northern Kosovo.

Merkel implied that Serbian membership in the EU would depend on the progress of its negotiations with Kosovo. But Tadic said Serbia would not make concessions in its Kosovo policy even if it damages its chances of joining the federation.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, nine years after NATO bombing ended a Serbian military crackdown on separatist ethnic Albanians. But tens of thousands of Serbs living in Northern Kosovo do not recognize Pristina's authority and want to be governed by Belgrade.

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