Text of report by Serbian independent news agency FoNet
Belgrade, 8 April: The chairwoman of the Coordination Centre for Kosovo-Metohija, Sanda Raskovic-Ivic, has criticized today's "Future of Kosovo" seminar organized by the ALDE group in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe [PACE], assessing it as unacceptable that one political group within the PACE, the Liberal Democrats, had initiated a closed seminar on Kosovo's future.
The closed nature of the seminar stems from the fact that no parliamentarian from Serbia-Montenegro is a member of a political party with a liberal-democratic orientation, and organizers of the seminar declined offers from parliamentarians and Serbia-Montenegro state institutions to take part in the seminar and present information and essential concepts to the participants, Sanda Raskovic-Ivic said in an open letter to the Serbia-Montenegro mission in Strasbourg.
There is no justifiable reason, as Sanda Raskovic-Ivic put it, for Liberal Democrats to enter into a discussion concerning the territory of a democratic and internationally recognized sovereign state which is also a Council of Europe member state.
She reminded the public that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan had paid special attention to the issue of solving Kosovo's status by appointing its special envoy [Martti Ahtisaari] to lead negotiations aimed at reaching a just solution, while negotiations included both Belgrade and Pristina teams.
"Contrary to this tactful and wise approach established at the highest level, this ALDE group seminar can only be seen as partial and unbalanced," Sanda Raskovic-Ivic noted.
She urged international players to use their authority to draw the organizers' attention to the principles of democracy and exchange of opinions, and convene this seminar repeatedly, but only after they ensure participation by Serbia-Montenegro representatives.
Source: FoNet news agency, Belgrade, in Serbian 1342 gmt 8 Apr 06