Monday, May 16, 2005

Kosovar premier rules out May 24 meeting with Serbian counterpart

BELGRADE, Kosovar Prime Minister Bajram Kosumi on Monday rejected May 24 as a possible date for a first meeting with his Serbian counterpart Vojislav Kostunica, citing his "tight schedule".

Quoting sources in the Kosovo government, the Pristina daily Zeri said the Kosovan premier will most probably be visiting Germany from May 22 to 24, clashing with meeting date proposed by his Serbian counterpart.

However, Kosovo[Kosova] government spokesman Daut Dauti was quoted by the Pristina daily Express as saying that Kosumi was still interested in a meeting with Kostunica. He also said that the invitation was arbitrary and without consultation. Kosovo's Public Television, RTK, also quoted Kosumi as saying that Koshtunica cannot just schedule meeting whenever he wants to. He said he is thinking about proposing a date himself.

According to Kosovo media reports, Kosumi has not received an official invitation for the meeting, but he learned about the invitation from the media.

Serbian officials said Sunday that Kostunica suggested that the first meeting of the prime ministers of Serbia and Kosovo be held in Kosovo's Prizren on May 24 to iron out unresolved issues. Albanian politicians in Kosovo, includin the PM, have maintained that they will only talk to Serb officials about practical issues, not the final status of Kosovo. Serbia wants to talk about the final status.

Kosovo formally remains part of Serbia-Montenegro, but Belgrade has had no authority since NATO wrestled control of it from Serbia in 1999 after intensive bombing. Xinhua & RTK.

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