Friday, April 15, 2005

Kosovo to be one of Austria's priorities as EU chairman next year - minister

[Announcer] Kosova [Kosovo] will be one of Austrian priorities next year when the latter holds the European Union chair, Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ursula Plassnik said during a visit to our country today.

[Reporter] Austria will assume the chairmanship of the European Union next year. Kosova and the Balkans in general have been designated as its priorities during the mandate. During her one-day visit to Kosova and in meetings with UNMIK [United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo] chief Soeren Jessen-Petersen and the Kosovar institutional leaders, Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik said that the peaceful resolution of Kosova's final status, recognized [as a goal] by the international community, will be recognized by Austria as well.

[Austrian Minister Ursula Plassnik in English with superimposed Albanian translation] We are preparing to take over the EU chair next year. I believe we will be in a position to find a resolution satisfactory to everyone through a peaceful perspective acceptable to all peoples in the region.

[Reporter] The work of the Kosova institutions in fulfilling the priority Standards, in particular the protection of minorities and local government reform, was identified as priorities by the institutional leaders of Kosova in the meetings with the Austrian diplomat.

[President Ibrahim Rugova] Our future, Minister Plassnik, is an independent and democratic Kosova in the European Union and NATO and in permanent friendship with the United States. We are working on this to make our legislation compatible with European legislation.

[Government spokesperson Daut Dauti] The prime minister informed [the Austrian minister] about the latest developments and events. He also spoke about the work of the government during this difficult month. He mentioned three key points the government has focused on - Standards, decentralisation and the economy.

[Reporter] Referring to the first Prishtina-Belgrade meeting, Plassnik said that it is to Austria's advantage that it is a good and trusted partner in talks. She expressed Austria's readiness to host any future meetings, contacts or dialogue to discuss Kosova's political future.

During her visit to Kosova, Plassnik visited the Austrian troops serving with the Kfor [NATO-led Kosovo force] peacekeeping forces.

Source: KohaVision TV, Pristina, in Albanian 1700 gmt 14 Apr 05

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