Serbia's President Boris Tadic said today (June 30, 2010) that Serbia's Kosovo province -- along with its Christian character -- is a matter of identity for Serbs, according to today's Serbianna website.
In an address at the celebration of 150 years of the Serbian Orthodox Church parish in Vienna, Tadic said that Christian liberty to worship freely in the Roman Empire was legalized inside the Serbian territory. He also reminded the audience that the Roman Emperor Constantine was born on Serbian soil.
"That is why the Kosovo issue, which Serbia wants to solve peacefully, is not only a matter of territorial integrity and sovereignty, but above all, a matter preserving our identity," Tadic said.
Tadic warned that diplomats and others are seeking to "usurp" Serbia's Christian presence in its own province and substitute it with an Albanian Muslim one.
Kosovo illegally seceded from Serbia in February 2008, and declared itself an independent nation. Kosovo's legal status -- as an independent nation or a province in Serbia -- has been referred to the International Court of Justice in the Netherlands. A decision by the court on the status of Kosovo is expected to be made by late summer in 2010.