Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Kosovo issue must be tackled in 2005 - Slovene foreign minister

"The train for the resolution of the Kosovo issue will depart this year," Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel said after meeting on Tuesday [25 January] with Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the European external relations commissioner.

"We have to take this train," stressed Rupel, adding that the EU as well as the OSCE, which Slovenia presides over this year, need to take this opportunity and focus their know-how to this end.

Kosovo and the related final status of Serbia-Montenegro were just two issues that Rupel and Ferrero-Waldner addressed today. They focused on Slovenia's activities in the OSCE and how the EU could help resolve open issues.

The most burning issue for the OSCE is funding. Referring to Russia's efforts to cut its membership contribution, Rupel said Slovenia will try to convince Russia that "we cannot go on like that".

"This is the question whether to preserve the organization or reject it. I believe that 55 members are not keen on the organization falling apart," he told the press.

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