Friday, August 3, 2007

Serbia to ask for direct negotiations

BELGRADE -- The Belgrade media reported today that Serbia will ask for direct negotiations regarding Kosovo's future status. Dailies Blic and Večernje Novosti write that Belgrade would rather see direct talks than the announced “shuttle diplomacy” approach.

According to the papers, the Serbian Government will also ask for the talks to have no time limit and to only recognize status decisions made by the United Nations Security Council.

According to Blic, Serbia will insist that Martti Ahtisaari's plan be rejected in the new phase of talks, because it calls for an internationally supervised independence for the province.

Večerenje novosti writes that “Serbia supports real talks, in order to hear for the first time what the Kosovo Albanians' final compromise proposal is for the future status, and that is why Belgrade insists that the negotiations should be pushed back as much as possible.”

Kosovo Minister Slobodan Samardžić said that the government adopted on Thursday its proposed rules by which the negotiations should be led, but did not want to go into details.

Samardžić said that the proposal will be sent to the Contact Group and the embassies of its member countries in Belgrade.

Moscow daily: Positions edging closer

Moscow daily Kommersant writes Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremić's statement that Serbia is prepared for a serious compromise over the Kosovo status solution, shows that Belgrade's stance is changing.

The daily, however, states that level of compromise Serbia is prepared for will not be enough to satisfiy the Kosovo Albanians and the West.
“The steps Belgrade is taking towards the Kosovo Albanians has made the gap between their stances smaller, but Priština does not want to hear about anything less than independence, and the West does not wish to stray from Ahtisaari's proposal too much,” the daily writes.

"Vojislav Koštunica and Minister Slobodan Samardžić categorically rejected the independence of Montenegro last year, so their position on Kosovo could change as well."

"Truthfully, these changes have come too late, when Belgrade already finds itself faced with a fait accompli,” Kommersant stated.

(Source :

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