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Serbian Leader Seeks To Shed Kosovo 'Illusions'

Serbian President Boris Tadic (file photo) (AFP) 25 October 2005 -- Serbian President Boris Tadic said today Serbia should be prepared for a difficult struggle over Kosovo.

Tadic said that Serbs should be prepared for the worst concerning Kosovo, saying a solution on the province's status could be imposed on them.

Tadic was speaking one day after the UN Security Council unanimously endorsed launching international talks on the future of the ethnically divided province. The talks are expected to begin next month.

"We inherited a difficult legacy," Reuters quoted Tadic as saying. "The citizens of Serbia should have no illusion that it is impossible for a solution to be imposed on us."

"This is something I am not ready for, but it could happen," the agency quoted Tadic, who heads the opposition Democratic Party, as saying.

Kosovo, which has an ethnic Albanian majority, is legally a part of Serbia and Montenegro. The province has been under UN administration since NATO ousted Serbian forces in 1999.

Kosovo's ethnic-Albanians want the province to be transformed into an independent state, while many Serbs -- who regard the province as their heartland -- reject the idea of an independent Kosovo.