Kosovo's Serbs defy independence move

 Kosovo's Serbs defy independence move
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Kosovo’s Serbs have set up their own assembly, in defiance of the ethnic-Albanian government and the United Nation mission there.

Held in the ethnically-divided town of Mitrovica, the body is meant to provide a link to the Serbian parliament in Belgrade. Serbia and its ally Russia rejected Kosovo’s self-declared independence in February.

The assembly will have no real executive power but one Kosovo Serb representative, said it would fight against the setting up of another Albanian state in the Balkans and against the European Union’s mission to found an Albanian state on Serb land.

The move comes on the day Serbs celebrate the anniversary of the 1389 Battle of Kosovo.

Despite a defeat at the hands of the Ottoman Empire, the battle is at the heart of Serbia’s territorial and cultural claim to Kosovo.

Kosovo’s ethnic-Albanian leaders say the assembly is provocative and an attempt to destabilise Kosovo.

The UN, which is still responsible for Kosovo’s administration, has dismissed it as “symbolic”.

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