Friday, March 17, 2006

Kosovo talks end without result

Kosovo talks end without result, B92
PRISTINA -- Friday – The second round of talks on the future of Kosovo between Serbs and ethnic Albanians has ended without an agreement. Deputy of UN Special Envoy for Kosovo Status Albert Roan said that municipalities in Kosovo must be financed transparently, while they are also allowed to find other ways for co-operation. He confirmed the legitimacy of special liaisons between Serbian municipalities and Belgrade in special fields, such as education and health.

The next round of talks is set for April 3, when the same issues will be re-discussed. Earlier today, Albanian political analyst Dukagjin Gorani said “the fact that the Kosovo discussions are picking up on March 17 must be very important to the discussions.” In the tragic events of March 2004, 19 people were killed and over 900 were injured, including members of the international and Kosovo police forces. About 800 homes were destroyed or damaged in Kosovo, as were 34 churches and monasteries, while several thousands of Serbs were forces to flee their homes.

In response to the attacks on the Serbian enclaves, violent protests broke out in Belgrade and Nis, both ending in the burning down of a city mosque. Kosovo Serb senior representative, Oliver Ivanovic, told B92 that the Serbs have lost their chance to, through March 17, show that this kind of Albanian extremism is what they are afraid of most. Ivanovic said that the Serbian Government is to blame for the most part. “After March 17, 2004, a widespread police action began, but the main conspirators have obviously not been arrested.

That is what poses a great danger. Whatever happens to Kosovo, I am afraid that the solution will rest on a cracking foundation, because the crimes were never addressed and sanctioned. I think that the international community did not do their part either.” Ivanovic said. Gorani told B92 that March 17 is a black stain on the political scene of Kosovo and the region, and that must be reiterated to the Albanian community . “It is a fact that the March violence was an explosion of internal frustrations in the Albanian community in Kosovo, which in the end was turned to a hate for the non-Albanian community, especially for the Serbs. And it is a fact that the talks are starting up again exactly on March 17, which must be very important for the entire process, especially because the talks this time will discussions exclusively the status of the non-Albanian community in Kosovo.” Gorani said.

The March 2004 riots in Kosovo began as protests led by Albanians after two Albanian boys were found drowned in the Ibar River, near the village of Cabra.

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