BELGRADE, Serbia -- Friday – Serbian President Boris Tadic said that the future of Kosovo[Kosova] will, in the end, not be decided by Serbian or for that matter the Albanian officials.
President Tadic said that international institutions will be playing the key role in determining Kosovo’s future status, firstly, the United Nation Security Council and the Contact Group, but that Belgrade’s stances and suggestions will continue to be taken into consideration.
“Our arguments must be very convincing, with a very clear plan of activity in the coming period, because in September it is likely that discussions regarding Kosovo’s final status will begin.” Tadic said, adding that the situation in Kosovo must be presented to the citizens in a realistic manner.
Tadic stressed that the government in Belgrade must fight to make sure that Kosovo does not become independent, and that with this goal in mind, a diplomatic offensive must be created which will put pressure on the decision making bodies.
According to the president’s press service, Tadic still insists on meeting directly with Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova in either Belgrade or Pristina and not at an international conference in Geneva as Rugova has requested. Rogova has said that he will only meet Tadic in International confference about Kosovo[Kosova].
Serbia-Montenegro President Svetozar Marovic said on the federal level and on the state level in Serbia, a complete agreement regarding Kosovo exists for the first time. Marovic said that a united, democratic approach to the future of Kosovo exists, which he said, international political centers are taking as a very positive sign.
Petersen talks standards
UNMIK Chief Soeren Jessen Petersen supports the US’s call for the speeding up of the process of implementing standards in Kosovo, but said that it will take time because some of the most basic standards have yet to be met.
“Not one of the so-called, priority standards has been fully implemented and there are several other factors that have been left out. Because of this, the Kosovo government needs to, in the next several months, work very hard, especially on encouraging return efforts and securing freedom of movement in parts of the region where this problem still exists.” Petersen said. He said he has faith in the Kosovo government.
He said that the necessary level of decentralization of the Kosovo government has not been met yet either, but said that he trusts that the giving of authority to the local government in the fields of health, education and security will enable Kosovo Serbs and other regional minorities to take an important role in the region and ensure their personal rights.
KFOR guarantees refugee return
Meanwhile, KFOR continues say that the return of refugees to the region has already been secured. The international forces in Kosovo are guaranteeing safety and security for all refugees who wish to return to the region, according to KFOR Commander Yves de Kermabon.
“The KFOR troops are here to cooperate with you and help to make sure that all who fled can return safely to their homes.” the French general said. B92 & RTK