Friday, August 3, 2007

Contact Group to Report on Kosovo Talks to UN Secretary General by 10 December

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hailed yesterday the latest initiative of the Contact Group, which he said had briefed him “on its agreement on the modalities for further negotiations between Pristina and Belgrade,” and expressed the hope "that the new period of engagement will lead to an agreement on Kosovo's future status, which remains a priority for the UN." Insisting that "the status quo is not sustainable," he added that "the international community must find a solution that is timely, addresses the key concerns of all the communities living in Kosovo and provides clarity for Kosovo's status."

Further indicating that "the UN Office of the Special Envoy for Kosovo (UNOSEK) will be associated with the process by standing ready to provide information and clarification on request," Ki-moon added that "the UN will continue to play a constructive role in the new period of engagement and continue its major role on the ground in Kosovo.” The UN Secretary General concluded by indicating that “the Contact Group will report back to me by 10 December," the Belgrade-based Beta news agency reported, quoting a statement published on the UN website.

Commenting on the beginning of the new round of talks on the Kosovo status, Alex Cerniglia, from the Office of the UN Secretary General, told the Serbian Broadcasting Corporation (RTS) that the Contact Group, and not the UN Secretary General, would decide when it should begin. His comment came after the EU High Representative Javier Solana had said in Manila yesterday that the new talks on the future status of Kosovo would begin in the middle of August, and that it would probably be the UN Secretary General who would invite the Serb and Albanian side to initiate them, the Belgrade electronic media reported, quoting Reuters.

(Source : UN Office in Belgrade)

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