aleksandar vučić.jpg
Photograph: POOL/ HINA/ Lana SLIVAR DOMINIĆ /ds

The United States has said that the normalisation of Serbia-Kosovo relations entailed Kosovo's membership in the UN, while Serbia's state leaders have said that Serbia has no intention of backing the UN membership of its former province.

We are not asking that Serbia recognise Kosovo's independence but for the normalisation of Belgrade-Pristina relations. What this normalisation will mean exactly in the end is up to the European Union to define, but for us it includes Kosovo's UN membership, US Ambassador to Serbia Michael Kirby said in Friday's edition of Belgrade's Vecernje Novosti daily.

He said West Germany had never recognised East Germany, although it had been a member of the UN.

The US is just helping in this EU-led process and at this stage we are not insisting on anything. The US recognised Kosovo, but that's a question for the EU, where five member states haven't done it, Kirby said.

Responding to Kirby's claims, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said in a statement that Serbia "won't support Kosovo's membership in international organisations, including the United Nations" because that would mean "the legalisation of Kosovo's unilaterally declared independence."

Dacic said the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue was neutral and that the US and Serbia had different views of "Kosovo's unilaterally declared independence."

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic told reporters, "For us it's not easy, as a small country, to respond to what Kirby said. All I can say and respond at this time is that Serbia has its own policy. We respect the US policy, they are a world power, but we have our policy and stick to our policy."

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