Text of report by Lj. Staletovic entitled "Serbia without a stance and negotiators" negotiations by the Serbian newspaper Glas javnosti on 11 October
Belgrade: Kosovo Albanians are taking the most elite team to the forthcoming negotiations on the status of Kosovo, while Belgrade has yet to compose its delegation.
Oliver Ivanovic, head of the Serbian List for Kosovo-Metohija, says it is unacceptable that Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica will not be permanently engaged on the team, which in his opinion should include President Boris Tadic as well.
"With all due respect for the other problems we have at the moment, the problem of Kosovo is, I believe, the most pressing and should therefore be seriously addressed by Serbia's strongest team. There is no time for dithering. Besides this team we need to set up another for logistics support; we must act speedily as there is no time for 'settling in'. Albanians will accept whatever they are told, but I fear we will stubbornly say 'no' and might face another Rambouillet that brought on UN Security Council Resolution 1244. The negotiations will yield a document that will spell the basis for status, which will be transitional at first, and then final. The fact that we have no clearly defined platform is another matter. We must say clearly what we want. I am afraid that interest is low on the problem of Kosovo, that we are centred on other topics, mostly scandals. I believe the burden weighs too heavily on the minority government and that we need new elections. We need the government to address Kosmet more seriously, not the chiefly populist approach it has taken with resonant statements that serve daily political purposes," said Ivanovic, declining to speculate on the composition of Serbia's team.
Dusan Prorokovic, chairman of the Serbian Assembly Committee for Kosovo-Metohija, insists that Belgrade has a platform. "We have a platform that was supported by the Serbian Assembly and three conclusions by the EU specifying that the province will not be partitioned, there is to be no return to its previous status, or annexing the province to another state, which prevents the creation of a greater Albania. The Serbian platform contains a fourth conclusion: no independence for Kosovo," said Prorokovic, adding that Belgrade and Pristina should hold a dialogue on expanded autonomy for Kosmet.