Call for Kosovo reversal

Bishop Irinej DobrijevicAUSTRALIA'S Serbian Orthodox bishop has written to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd urging him to reverse Australia's recognition of Kosovo and warning that it increases the risk of terrorism. Bishop Irinej told Mr Rudd that the Government had a foreign policy mandate to be independent rather than automatically falling into line with the US and Britain. "Recognition of Kosovo betrays this trust placed in you and your Government by the Australian people," he wrote in the letter. At least 2000 members of Melbourne's Serb community are expected to gather at Federation Square tonight to oppose Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia, announced at the weekend.

Australia became the second country to recognise Kosovo, sparking Serbia to recall its ambassador from Canberra. Bishop Irenej wrote: "As the war in Iraq has led to massive instability in the region and exacerbated the growth of terrorism, the precipitate recognition of Kosovo will lead to the same consequences in the Balkans." He said Kosovo's secession violated international law, in particular the rights of ethnic and national minorities.

Source: Barney Zwartz - The Age 22/02/2008