Thursday, January 20, 2005

OSCE's Rupel sees situation in Serbia as "complicated"

A representative of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe [OSCE], [Chairman-in-Office] Dimitrij Rupel, has said that "Kosovo and Serbia are very far away because of the complicated situation in Serbia".

Explaining his statement, Rupel, Slovenia's minister of foreign affairs, told B92: "On one side there are the problems of the past, by this I am referring to the Hague suspects, there is the problem with Montenegro, because the future of this union is very unsure, the problem with Kosovo because Serbia's concepts are for the most part different from those of the international community."

Rupel continued: "They have a fairly exciting internal political life, because there are election problems, some say that there will be elections for the entire nation, some say there will not. Well, if this is not enough to call the situation complicated, then I do not know what else is necessary."

Speaking of his visit to Kosovo, Rupel said that he took that time to meet with every important figure in the region's political life and that his impressions were not very bad, and for the most part, very encouraging.

"Our friends in Pristina are aware that without paying attention to the Serbian minority and monuments of the Serbian culture, they cannot expect positive reports which would initiate talks about the future status of Kosovo," Rupel said.

Asked by reporters to explain the comment he made in Vienna that perhaps the separation of Serbia and Montenegro could bring stability to the region, Rupel said that this statement was made up and that he never said such a thing.

"It is important to see what Serbia and Montenegro will decide between themselves," Rupel said.

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