Monday, October 10, 2005

Kosovo status talks to start by October 25

BELGRADE -- Monday – A decision on the beginning of Kosovo status decisions could be made by October 25, the Serbian prime minister’s Kosovo advisor said yesterday.

Vladeta Jankovic told B92 that there had not been time for a close examination of UN envoy Kai Eide’s report on the implementation of standards in Serbia’s southern province but that a first reading indicated that it listed all instances of standards not being met.

Jankovic says that from Serbia’s point of view Eide could have been more thorough and sharper in his assessment but that from what he has observed, the conclusion that talks should begin immediately is surprising.

“To put it bluntly, the former strategy of standards before status has been discarded in favour of standards and status. The next step is for the Security Council to review the report and to decide on the recommendation of Kofi Annan whether to begin negotiations, when to begin and who will be the main negotiator,” said Jankovic.

Leon Kojen, political advisor to Serbian President Boris Tadic, says Serbia has no reason to be satisfied with Eide’s report but that it has “plenty of sober reflections and rational recommendations”.

The overall impression of the report, says Kojen, is that above all it shows how difficult it will be for Serbia to defend its vital national and state interests in the negotiations. But, he says, Serbia’s dissatisfaction with the report goes beyond Eide’s expected recommendation that talks begin.

“Many of Eide’s assessments in the report are an uncomfortable surprise because they gloss over key facts or present them in a completely inadequate way,” said Kojen.

Nebojsa Covic, who until recently headed Belgrade’s Kosovo Coordination Centre warns that Kosovo will be given conditional independence or more unless Belgrade seriously prepares for the status talks.

Speaking to journalists on behalf of his Social Democratic Party, Covic criticised the policy of the Serbian Government, saying that Eide should be invited to Belgrade to clarify the report so that a constructive relationship can be built with him.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Report says security deteriorating in Kosovo
BBC Monitoring Europe (Political) - October 6, 2005, Thursday

Belgrade: Security is deteriorating in Serbia's southern province while Kai Eide, who is in charge of assessing the fulfilment of standards in Kosovo and Metohija, makes his latest diplomatic tour prior to submitting a report to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, probably on Monday [3 October].

While supporters of Albin Kurti, former leader of a student movement, protest and demand independence, armed Albanian groups in uniform, resembling the former OVK [Kosovo Liberation Army - UCK in Albanian], appeared in the vicinity of Pec, patrolling roads.

Pristina Express reported that several members of a paramilitary formation calling itself the "army for independent Kosovo" had been arrested. Glas's source from Pristina claims that the organization numbers 378 members and has given the Kosovo Assembly until 5 October to declare independence. Glas has learned that similar groups have appeared in the vicinity of Srbica, plundering and intimidating Albanians, while the declaration of their political motives is to their benefit. The OVK employed the same technique at the beginning.

Oliver Ivanovic, head of the Serb List for Kosovo and Metohija, criticized Kfor [Kosovo Force] for failing to respond.

"I asked for a meeting with Kfor commander to discuss the problem and I expect we will meet next week. Kfor must react, but Albanian politicians would have to state their position clearly on the emergence of this self-styled army. The international public will have to face the political hypocrisy of Kosovo Albanians who conduct one policy during the day, and another at night," Ivanovic told Glas, openly showing concern for the security of Serbs who could be the most threatened.

The fear is justified, considering that mass Albanian protests have been announced in October throughout Kosovo and Metohija, and could escalate into unrest of greater proportion than the riots on 17 March 2004, and the prime targets would be members of the international mission.