Bristol, 02 September (STA) - The EU expects that the international
community will launch talks on a final status of Kosovo this year,
Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel has said, acknowledging that the
negotiations will be "difficult."
The recommendation for the start of status talks for the restive province
must be made in a report that the international community is expected to
draw up in autumn. Although the report might be critical, Rupel said he
does not believe it could prevent status talks.
The talks are crucial: Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova is very ill and
there are tensions between the majority Albanian and minority Serbian
population, Rupel said on Friday after EU foreign ministers discussed the
conditions in Kosovo in Newport, the UK.
According to the minister, Kosovo was discussed in the framework of
debates on the Balkans, where it was stressed that the region's prospects
of joining the EU must be "developed." "The problems will not be resolved
without that," he added.