A group of Serbian demonstrators protesting Kosovo’s declaration of independence has broken into the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade.
Reports say protesters managed to enter the building and set fire to one of the offices. Police used tear gas to clear the protesters.
In Washington, a State Department spokesman, Sean McCormack urged
Serbian authorities to devote the required assets to deal with the
Protesters also forced their way into Croatia’s embassy in the Serbian capital.
break-ins occurred as about 150,000 demonstrators packed the streets of
Belgrade to peacefully protest Kosovo’s U.S.-backed declaration of
Serbian President Boris Tadic and Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica
had called for a peaceful Belgrade protest after Kosovo declared
Elsewhere, several hundred Serbian army veterans burned tires and
stoned police and NATO peacekeepers at a Kosovo-Serbia border crossing.
In Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serb demonstrators in Banja Luka stoned police,
who fought back.
More than a dozen countries have formally recognized Kosovo’s independence.
Earlier this week, Serbia began recalling its ambassadors from countries that support Kosovo independence.
House speaker, Croatian FM discuss Kosovo
Speaker of Parliament Katalin
Szili met Croatian Foreign and EU Integration minister Gordan
Jandrokovic on Thursday for talks focusing on issues concerning
Kosovo’s independence and Croatia’s recent parliamentary elections.
Croatia is preparing to recognise Kosovo as an independent
state, Szili told MTI following the meeting, and added that Hungary
welcomed that intention. The two sides also agreed that it was
necessary to ensure further assistance to Serbia on its way to
European integration, Szili said.
Hungary and Croatia assist each other in their efforts to become
non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, the
house speaker noted.
Kosovo recognition not easy for Budapest or Zagreb, says Hungarian FM
Recognising Kosovo’s independence
will not be easy for Hungary, given the facts that Serbia is an
immediate neighbour and that a sizable ethnic Hungarian minority
lives there, said Foreign Minister Kinga Goncz in Budapest on
Thursday after a meeting with her Croatian counterpart Gordan
However, Kosovo independence is equally important to Budapest
and Zagreb, since both of us have a strong interest in long-term
regional stability, she added.
Jandrokovic said his country was paying close attention to
happenings in Kosovo but that Croatia, itself a breakaway state from
now-defunct Yugoslavia, would wait for most other European Union
nations to recognise its independence before it too would do so.
"It is important to retain a good relationship with Serbia,"
Goncz said. Therefore, she continued, Hungary will not be among the
first nations to recognise Kosovo’s independence, "but will surely
do so in the coming weeks."
(Sources: VOAnews.com, MTI, AP, AFP, Reuters)