Wednesday, August 17, 2005

US envoy to Kosovo says time has come to prepare for status talks

Text of report by Kosovo Albanian television KohaVision TV on 16 August

[Announcer] The time has come for preparations for Kosova's [Kosovo] political status talks, said US chief of mission in Prishtina [Pristina] Philip Goldberg after meeting Kosova Speaker Nexhat Daci. Kosova Speaker Daci, on the other hand, said the issue of independence was non-negotiable. There should be negotiations on other things and opposition must play an important role in this, said Daci.

[Reporter Blerta Dalloshi] The US chief of mission in Prishtina Philip Goldberg praised the work of Kosova institutions after meeting Kosova Speaker Nexhat Daci. He said we had to see the preparations for the negotiation process on Kosova's political status. He said we were not talking about whether there would be independence or not, but about the means to create the circumstances by which the government and the people, together with the opposition, would have a common position in order to move forward. While judging the status issue as important, Goldberg said these were decisions that needed to be taken by us.

[Philip Goldberg in English with Albanian translation] The Kosova government and the people should have a clear position on status and issues related to status, therefore preparations for the negotiations on status should begin.

[Reporter] He considered the position of the Kosova people on decentralization and minorities as important, as something that will require negotiations and compromise. Kosova Speaker Nexhat Daci on the other hand said Kosova's independence was non-negotiable. According to him negotiations with the international community and Belgrade should focus on technical issues.

[Nexhat Daci] Independence is non-negotiable, not under any circumstances. Other things, all other issues should be negotiated with the international community and Belgrade; that includes the treatment of minorities, the lack of cooperation between minorities, the issue of free movement in the region.

[Reporter] According to him [Daci], the opposition should play its role in this process.

Source: KohaVision TV, Pristina, in Albanian 1700 gmt 16 Aug 05

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