Friday, November 04, 2005

State Dep. Daily Press Briefing - Remarks on Kosovo

QUESTION: Could you give us a read-out on the meeting on Kosovo that was held last night?

MR. MCCORMACK: Be happy to. Let me get the information here for you.

Under Secretary Nick Burns hosted the political directors from the Kosovo Contact Group. That would include the U.S., the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, Russia and the EU. This also included representatives from NATO and the UN. They obviously discussed the situation in Kosovo. They also discussed with Martti Ahtisaari, whom the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan intends to appoint as a special envoy for Kosovo status talks, the process for beginning negotiations on Kosovo's future political status and principles that should guide this process.

I think among the read I got out of the meeting, George, was that the group reaffirmed its commitment to be centrally involved in the future status talks while recognizing the leading role of the UN special envoy.

I think that, from our point of view, the status outcome has to -- our goal for this entire process is for the parties to reach an agreement through negotiation and compromise that will provide the people of Kosovo and their neighbors with a secure and democratic future and that Kosovo's future status must aid in stabilizing this region while advancing the region's Euro-Atlantic integration.

QUESTION: Under Secretary Burns at one point said that there will be a U.S. envoy to guide this process. Has that been decided on yet?

MR. MCCORMACK: It has not finally been decided. I can say that it won't be him, that he is -- he will look to -- he, in consultation with the Secretary, will look to name somebody in the near future. We'll keep you updated when we've got a name for you.

QUESTION: President Rugova of Kosovo, as I understand it, he sent Mr. Burns a letter on Monday saying that independence is the only way out of this situation. What do you have to say about that?

MR. MCCORMACK: Well, I have to -- let me talk to Under Secretary Burns about the letter. I hadn't talked to him about that. I kind of outlined how we view the outcome. It has to be a negotiated outcome that fits the criteria that I just talked about.

Yes, sir.

No comments: