Sunday, March 27, 2005

Aide to Serbian PM says Belgrade "yet to take" position on new Kosovo premier

An aide to the prime minister of Serbia [Vojislav Kostunica], Misa Djurkovic, has said that [UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo, or UNMIK chief Soeren] Jessen-Petersen came to Belgrade to revive the Pristina-Belgrade dialogue. Djurkovic said that the main topic of the talks would be to set in motion the so-called Vienna process, that is, technical dialogues dealing with four groups of issues: energy, return [of displaced people], missing persons and transport.

[Djurkovic] The issue of decentralization will also be discussed. We will see where we are now, and whether there has been any progress on either side. Finally, what the prime minister will also insist on is the return of displaced and exiled persons as definitely the most important issue so far as the Serbian side is concerned, because any other issue makes no sense unless a serious and significant return of the Serb and other non-Albanian population to Kosmet [Kosovo-Metohija] finally starts to take place.

[Announcer] Misa Djurkovic said that the Serbian government had not yet taken a position on Kosovo's new prime minister, Bajram Kosumi.

[Djurkovic] The relationship towards Kosumi and the new government is something which Belgrade is yet to take a position on. The other important thing to emphasize here is that, definitely, by removing [former Kosovo prime minister Ramush] Haradinaj as the chief obstacle, this will be the year [2005] when direct contacts between Belgrade and Kosovo Albanian representatives will begin one way or another, in one form or another.

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