Ljubljana, 02 June (STA) - Kosovo Prime Minister Bajram Kosumi has voiced
the hope that the talks on the final status of the province will be
launched in September and that they will wrap up in less than a year.
Speaking at a press conference in Ljubljana on Thursday, Kosumi said he
would not venture to speculate about the final status of Kosovo, but was
quick to point out that the province wanted independence.
Kosovo will also seek the assistance of the OSCE, Kosumi said after
today's talks with Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel, who currently chairs
this security organisation.
The pair addressed reporters at a joint press conference, welcoming the UN
Security Council's report on the situation in Kosovo. Kosumi admitted that
the province had problems in virtually every aspect, but added that the
institutions there were democratic and stable.
According to Rupel, he and the Kosovo PM also debated the future relations
between the province and Serbia-Montenegro, as well as its role in
international organisations, with emphasis on the progress of Southeastern
Europe towards the EU and NATO.
Rupel said Slovenia would insist this region should remain an EU priority,
while the Kosovo official voiced the hope that Slovenia and the province
would meet in the Union in the end.
The pair stressed the need for dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina to
resume. This is especially important in light of the announced assessment
of implementation of democratic standards, a condition for the beginning
of Kosovo status talks and the province's progress towards the EU and
The international community expects Kosovo to meet eight requirements,
including the establishment of working democratic institutions, the
protection of minorities, economic development, the rule of law, freedom
of movement and property rights.
According to Kosumi, the integration of Kosovo minorities, in particular
Serbian, is vital for the province's development and progress. He also
said that his government was currently focusing on arranging for the
launch of Kosovo status talks with the international community.
Kosumi and Rupel praised relations between Slovenia and Kosovo, with
Kosumi thanking Slovenia for the help it had offered to the province in
the past, in particular when the times were toughest. Rupel promised
further help from Slovenia and the OSCE, should that prove necessary.
According to him, the OSCE has still a lot of work to do in Kosovo. He
said OSCE countries would assist the province by training its police force
and aiding its institutions to secure lawfulness.
Kosumi, who is visiting Slovenia today, was also due to hold talks at the
Chamber of Commerce, where he was to meet business executives interested
in doing business with Kosovo. In the meeting with Rupel, he urged
Slovenian business people to increase investments in the Kosovo economy.