Text of report in English by independent internet news agency KosovaLive
Prishtina [Pristina], 12 December: Members of the Kosova [Kosovo] Negotiating Team opposed today the proposal of the head of UNMIK [UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo] for inclusion of decentralization in the status talks.
After a meeting between [UNMIK Chief Soeren] Jessen-Petersen and the Kosovar Negotiating Team, both sides introduced opposite stances as far as this issue is concerned.
Jessen-Petersen believes that decentralization is one of the main factors on which depends the result of the talks.
"For this reason, Kosovar leaders should be ready for dialogue and to discuss the document with minorities, for including them in the process, because such a thing is very useful," Jessen-Petersen said.
Meanwhile, the members of the Kosovar Negotiating Team unanimously said that decentralization cannot be part of the talks.
Kosova Assembly Chairman Nexhat Daci said that priority issues of Kosova, such as decentralization, cannot be part of talks with anybody.
"We as institutions gave priority to decentralization and it will not be part of any talks," Daci said, adding that Kosovar institutions as well as the Negotiating Team are not exposed to any pressure from the side of the international community regarding this issue.
Kosova Prime Minister Bajram Kosumi believes that reformation of local power is an issue that concerns the Kosova institutions.
According to him, it is important to push the process ahead in order to prevent gaps, but he added that the process should go on without any discouragement.
"Everything should be talked with the international factor. But, we should also discuss some issues with Belgrade, and why not reach an agreement on issues that we can," Kosumi said.
Regarding the question whether the Negotiating Team will assume responsibility for decentralization, Democratic Party of Kosova [PDK] chairman Hashim Thaci said that none can impact this issue because, according to him, "other people's impact in decentralization can lead to the jeopardy of internal division of Kosova."
"This issue should remain a responsibility of Kosovar institutions," Thaci said. According to him, reformation of the country's authority should be in accordance with the law, and it should not be a politically or ethnically motivated process, like the government plan is.
An eventual meeting of Kosova Local Power Minister Lutfi Haziri, and his counterpart, Zoran Loncar, in Vienna was one of the issues discussed in the meeting of the Kosova Negotiating Team, President Ibrahim Rugova, and Jessen-Petersen.
Daci said that "not well prepared meeting are neither preferred nor recommended" and added that all arguments regarding this should be introduced to the Kosova president, who also is the leader of the Negotiating Team and supported for his decisions.
On the other hand, Prime Minister Kosumi said that a meeting will take place, but he was not sure of the date the meeting is going to take place. "We should continue with the meeting that we have started in order to prove our readiness for preventing gaps in the process that is on the way," Kosumi said.
Leader of the PDK Hashim Thaci said that meetings of good-willed people should take place on right time and right place. He said that the success of the process of Kosova, and not tying it to particular meetings, is important.
Source: KosovaLive website, Pristina, in English 12 Dec 05