Dienstag, 8. März 2011

Erste direkte Treffen der Serben und Kosovaren Regierungs Vertreter

Representatives of Belgrade and Priština meet

8 March 2011 | 09:30 | Source: B92
BELGRADE -- Representatives of Belgrade and Priština will meet at a negotiating table once again after three years.

Borko Stefanović (Tanjug, file)
Borko Stefanović (Tanjug, file)
Kosovo's ethnic Albanians unilaterally declared independence after previous talks, something that was rejected by Belgrade.

Today the meeting in Brussels mediated by the EU will, according to announcements, focus on the areas of the rule of law, freedom of movement and regional cooperation.

Belgrade team chief Borko Stefanović told VOA that his team sees as most important those issues burdening Serbs in Kosovo and that solutions for those will be worked on immediately, while the issues concerning sovereignty will be tackled in later stages of the talks.

"The issue of CEFTA presidency, which is expected, is acute rather than systemic, the issue of defining Kosovo's customs stamp according to (UNSC) Resolution 1244, and also the issues of telecommunications, air traffic, land and registrar books," he said.

Kosovo Albanian representative Edita Tahiri, meanwhile, has said that Priština rules out any discussion with Serbia about the status of Kosovo, which they consider "a closed chapter".

According to Beta news agency, the meetings will be held in the office of Robert Cooper, a special adviser in the European External Action Service, a European foreign affairs agency led by Catherine Ashton.

Brussels has taken upon itself to take a status-neutral approach as the mediator, considering that five out of 27 EU members have not recognized Kosovo.

Meanwhile the United States have welcomed the start of the talks, taking the role of "guest" in the process. U.S. State Department official Thomas Countryman said this meant they would "talk to both sides in order to find concrete solutions".

On Monday, the assembly in Priština failed to adopt a resolution on the negotiations with Belgrade, as its members remained divided on this question.

It is expected that the document will be adopted later this week. Kosovo Albanian PM Hashim Thaci addressed the assembly to ask for its support the dialogue process, and said that "Kosovo had the support of the U.S. and EU in this". 

Success of talks on Kosovo important for both Belgrade and Pristina

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