Koha Ditore reports on page three that according to UNMIK and Kosovo Government officials the main topic of discussions in the meeting of the Kosovo Political Forum will be the creation of a group of negotiators for talks on Kosovo’s final status.
Citing unnamed sources, the paper reports that representatives of Kosovo institutions have raised the idea to create a negotiating team.
Zëri reports on the front page that the Kosovo leadership will meet in the political forum today to build consensus on capital issues. The paper quotes UNMIK spokesman Neeraj Singh as saying that the meeting will discuss the overall situation in Kosovo and the functions of the forum, and Kosovo leaders will exchange views on the future process of talks on Kosovo’s status.
Zëri also reports that President Rugova has confirmed his participation in the meeting, while PDK officials are uncertain if party leader Hashim Thaçi will attend. According to Koha Ditore, the UN Mission is making constant efforts to convince Thaçi to be a member of the forum. The paper also says that on two earlier occasions, Thaçi had objected to the creation of the forum by saying that it should have a decision-making and not advisory role.
Koha quotes UNMIK Department of Public Information Director Hua Jiang as saying that SRSG Søren Jessen-Petersen sticks to his position that the Forum should be a venue of discussions and debates.
International sources told the paper that the forum would not replace local institutions, but would nonetheless play an important role.
LDK spokesman Lulzim Zeneli told Zëri that the political forum should be an advisory body and in no way a substitution of local institutions.
ORA leader Veton Surroi said he hoped Kosovo representatives would not continue with the old habit of saying one thing in front of SRSG Jessen-Petersen and then giving different statements to the media. ‘If the manner seen at the Assembly continues in the forum the latter will lose its meaning,’ Surroi added.
The forum, says Koha Ditore, seems to have won the approval of Western liaison offices in Pristina, including Deputy Secretary General Louise Fréchette who is visiting Kosovo. ‘The Forum will start functioning one day before the arrival to Kosovo of US Under-Secretary Nicholas Burns, the man who has presented the American plan that has stepped up the process of resolving Kosovo’s final status,’ the paper concludes.