Monday, November 14, 2005

Rugova would like Havel to be mediator of talks on Kosovo

PRISTINA, Nov 14 (CTK) - Kosovar President Ibrahim Rugova would welcome if former Czech president Vaclav Havel became the mediator of the talks on the future of Kosovo, he told journalists today after meeting Czech Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek who is on an official visit to the country.

Rugova said that Havel could help Kosovo as a personality, after Paroubek offered him that Czech diplomats or politicians could help solve the problems of Kosovo.

Havel told CTK he is not sure whether he would be able to accept such a task.

"I am of course pleased when somebody has such a suggestion. However, I am not sure whether I would be able to cope with such a task," Havel said.

Paroubek presented a similar offer in Belgrade on Sunday. He said that Serbian representatives welcomed it.

Paroubek did not release who exactly the Czech negotiators could be. According to some information, diplomat Sasa Vondra is among the candidates.

Paroubek is on a four-day visit to the West Balkans. He inquired about the opinions of Serbian, Montenegrin and Kosovar politicians about the future political organisation of Serbia and Montenegro. During his visit in Sarajevo, Belgrade and Pristina he repeatedly said that the Czech Republic will play a more important role in the region.

The Serbian government wants the autonomous Kosovo to remain a part of Serbia in the future, while the Kosovar inhabitants, most of them being ethnic Albanians, call for autonomy. Rugova said today he wants his country to be a part of the EU and NATO.

Apart from political initiative, Paroubek offered local politicians Czech investment, mainly in the area of insurance, power industry and chemical industry.

Seminars on the transformation of Czech economy will be opened for representatives from the former Yugoslavia in Prague. Paroubek said that Serbian students will have easier access to Czech universities thanks to a new cultural agreement.

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