Saturday, May 28, 2005

Lord of Standards (Express/Koha Ditore)

‘The 20 months of Kosovo are in his hands. The months of standards. If he says yes, talks on Kosovo’s final status will start in autumn this year’. This is how Express daily newspaper refers to Norwegian Ambassador to NATO Kai Eide, who according to the paper on Tuesday will be appointed special envoy for the comprehensive review of standards implementation.

The paper quotes a spokesman of the United Nations as saying that the appointment of the special envoy is expected to happen on Tuesday.

‘I don’t know if I will be the man to assess the standards. I have heard about this, but I cannot comment on it,’ Eide told Express on Friday.

The paper notes that Kosovans have good experience with Eide’s reports, because his report in August 2004 resulted in a different approach by the UN in Kosovo.

Koha Ditore quotes an unnamed senior NATO official as saying that USG Annan will appoint Eide to the post.

According to Express, the United Nations will also appoint another envoy for negotiations. ‘I can tell you that the person who will assess the standards will not be the one that will lead status negotiations,’ said UNMIK chief Søren Jessen-Petersen. UN officials, the paper says, admit that one of the likeliest candidates to get this post is former Finnish President Marti Ahtisaari.

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