Thursday, November 24, 2005

Special Envoy Ahtisaari holds press conference in Pristina

The main story in the Kosovo daily press is the coverage from yesterday’s press
conference by the UN Status Envoy Martti Ahtisaari and his deputy Albert Rohan.

Dailies say that the two officials have refused to predict how long the talks will
last or if they will be successful. Both Ahtisaari and Rohan said the success of the
process would depend on the cooperation between Pristina and Belgrade and that
both capitals would determine the timeframe of talks. Ahtisaari also said that he
has made clear to his interlocutors that status goes alongside standards, “and it is
important to have stability during this period.”

The leading headline on the front-page of Koha Ditore is Ahtisaari doesn’t
exclude the possibility of failure. “Of course there is a possibility that we may
fail, or the international community may fail, that is why perhaps they chose two
retired persons to carry this out. We at least don’t have any career problems, we
don’t have any ambitions except to perhaps return to our respective homes,”
Ahtisaari is quoted as saying.

Zëri reports on the front page that the UN Status Envoy has excluded the
possibility of Kosovo’s partition. “The status will be decided by the Security
Council, the timeframe depends on Pristina and Belgrade,” said the Status Envoy.
The paper also quotes Ahtisaari as saying that in his headquarters in Vienna he
would have a liaison officer from the US, the EU, NATO and the Russian

Dailies also report that Ahtisaari will not only be holding meetings with the parties
in Pristina and Belgrade, but he would also invite them to Vienna for talks.

Under the front-page headline A major change, Express reports that Ahtisaari said
that his post-war opinion on Kosovo – that independence was not the proper
solution – should be seen in the context of that period in time. “He [Ahtisaari]
hopes that the future status of Kosovo will be the final status,” the paper added.
Kosova Sot quotes Ahtisaari on the front page as saying, “It is still too early to
foresee the future status of Kosovo, however, partition is an option that has been
excluded and this was clearly stated by the Contact Group”.

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