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Slovakia Never To Recognize Kosovo
February 24, 2008

BRATISLAVA (AFP)--Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico warned on Sunday that his country may never recognize Kosovo's independence from Serbia. 

Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence is in breach of international law and as long as that situation remains Slovakia will not recognize it and might never do so, Fico said on public television. 

"I cannot exclude that situation," he said. 

"Historians compare what is happening today in Serbia with what happened at Munich in 1938 or with the Vienna arbitration," Fico added, referring to two painful moments in the history of former Czechoslovakia. 

Under the Munich agreement, the largely German-speaking Sudetenland broke away from Czechoslovakia to be swallowed up afterwards by Nazi Germany. 

Later, large swathes of Slovakia and the east of the country were handed over to Hungary under a deal brokered by Germany and Italy under the so-called Vienna arbitration. 

Fico warned against the possibility of separatists in other parts of the world following Kosovo's example and declaring independence. 

The United Nations should try and find a solution to Kosovo's situation, he said, adding: "That is the institution which can take fundamental decisions if some border will or will not be changed." 

Slovakia is one of a handful of E.U. states which has opposed Kosovo's independence from Serbia, party due to fears that this could set a precedent for the country's own large ethnic Hungarian minority. 

Serbia argues that Kosovo's secession violates U.N. Security Council Resolution 1244, which was adopted at the end of Kosovo's 1998-1999 war and put the disputed province under U.N. administration while retaining Serbian sovereignty.

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