Friday, March 18, 2005

Stability of Kosovo, SCG of key importance to Slovenia - foreign minister

Serbian President Boris Tadic is on a one-day official visit to Slovenia. He was invited by the OSCE chair, Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel. Apart from his host, he was also received by Prime Minister Janez Jansa and President Janez Drnovsek. The main topic of their talks was the enhancement of bilateral economic and political relations. They are also discussing the Kosovo question and the future of the Serbia-Montenegro state union. Matjaz Trost reporting:

[Reporter] They stressed Euro-Atlantic framework while discussing Kosovo's future status and the future of the Serbia-Montenegro state union. Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel:

[Rupel] We have to listen carefully and take into account the stances expressed by our Serbian friends. We have to predict events and activities which will ensure that these relations and problems will be solved in a constructive way. This should contribute to stability and prosperity in this and broader area. Serbia-Montenegro's stability and Kosovo's stability are of key importance for Slovenia and for a broader region.

[Reporter] Rupel added that Slovenia supported Serbia's endeavours to join EU.

[Tadic, speaking in Serbian with superimposed Slovene translation] Serbia sees EU and Partnership for Peace membership as its main objectives. This is of key importance for security and also an opportunity for economic stability and development in the future.[Passage omitted]

[Reporter] According to him, full cooperation with The Hague is necessary. [Passage omitted]

Tadic admitted that Kosovo was the main problem and added that the status from before 1999 and the classic autonomy could not be reintroduced. More than autonomy needs to be achieved, but Kosovo's independence is not acceptable. In Tadic words, this would result in destabilization of the region and it would have negative consequences for Serbia's stability and security. Tadic added that he - Serbia's representative - is ready to hold talks with Pristina about Kosovo.

Source: Radio Slovenia, Ljubljana, in Slovene 1430 gmt 18 Mar 05

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