All daily newspapers report on the front pages that the Kosovo political forum held its first meeting in Pristina yesterday. Zëri highlights that the biggest success is the organization of this initial meeting. Koha Ditore reports disagreements on who will lead status negotiations. The paper notes that while UNMIK chief Søren Jessen-Petersen has categorically ruled out the possibility that as head of the forum he could be part of the negotiating team for Kosovo final status talks, Kosovan leaders, on the other hand, claim that the forum could start talks with Belgrade.
‘I can categorically say that we are not a team of negotiators for one simple reason because the SRSG cannot be part of a negotiating team for status. If I withdraw, you can have something that would look like a team. But I cannot be there. My job is to facilitate the process and to help Kosovo get ready for talks on status,’ SRSG Jessen-Petersen is quoted by Koha Ditore.
Under the headline Together but divided, Express says the first meeting of the Kosovo forum has brought nothing new. ‘The four main political parties finally got together but they did not agree on everything,’ the paper elaborates.
Kosova Sot reports on the front page that PDK leader Hashim Thaçi didn’t attend the meeting.
Zëri says preparations for talks on Kosovo’s status are the top priorities of the forum. The forum, according to the paper, will discuss issues of capital interest for Kosovo and prepare Pristina’s platform for status talks. ‘Regardless of certain disagreements, the decision was made to discuss and define mechanisms for preparing talks on Kosovo’s status,’ added the paper.
Bota Sot quotes President Ibrahim Rugova on the front page as saying, ‘The goal … is to relax the political life in Kosovo’. Rugova also said when it was time for talks on final status, the government and opposition would stand united.
In a front-page editorial in Zëri, Blerim Shala calls on Kosovan political leaders to cooperate and strengthen Kosovo’s negotiating position, ‘so that the conclusion of negotiations can be in accordance with the political will of the citizens of Kosovo’.