Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Serbia, Russia to have joint policy in upcoming talks

BELGRADE, BERN -- Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica says that new Kosovo negotiations open up a possibility of compromise.

“New talks, with new mediators, open up possibilities that there will be a compromise solution, that will on the one hand satisfy Serbia’s essential interests, as well as those of the Albanian ethnic minority in the province,” Koštunica told Beta.

According to him, Serbia and Russia will in the upcoming talks promote “a joint principled policy”, based on respect of international law.

“It is of special importance that as many UN Security Council member states, and of course, as many European countries as possible support this policy, in order to reach a settlement over the province’s future,” Koštunica said.

On Sunday, President Boris Tadić said that the visit of the Contact Group’s Kosovo mediators must be used to define upcoming negotiations.

Tadić said as he met with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Swtizerland, that talks with Contact Group officials must be used to define the form in which the Kosovo status negotiations will unfold.

He added that "serious and difficult challenges await Serbia".

“In the coming months, our foreign policy will be focused mainly on the negotiation process. The stability of the entire region of the Western Balkans depends on the success of this,” Tadić said.

He added that “the majority of countries, when the Kosovo talks began earlier in Vienna, had the idea that Kosovo independence was the best solution, but the situation today is different.”

The Serbian Government is expected to name its negotiation team soon, and its stance could depend on the agreements reached by UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon and officials of the Contact Group on the way in which the Kosovo talks will be organized.

What is certain is that the following officials will be a part of the negotiation team: Tadić, Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica, Foreign Affairs Minister Vuk Jeremić and Kosovo Minister Slobodan Samardžić, and the composition of the rest of the team could depend on whether Ban decided to focus on technical questions or the status question, according to the Tanjug news agency.

(Source = B92.net)

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