Wednesday, May 17, 2006

UN chief says Kosovo talks could drag on

BRUSSELS, May 17, 2006 (AFP) -

United Nations special envoy for Kosovo Martti Ahtisaari warned Wednesday that talks on the final status of the UN-run Serbian province might not be concluded as planned by the end of the year.

"If it doesn't happen for the 31st of December and it goes a bit over the next year then we have to live with that," he told reporters after talks at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

Negotiations are underway to determine the final status of Kosovo, whose 90 percent ethnic Albanian population wants independence from Belgrade.

The next round of talks between Pristina and Belgrade is due to be held in Vienna on May 23, notably to discuss protection of religious sites, said the former Finnish president.

He underlined that the talks, which have so far focused on questions of decentralization, will continue for another month or possibly more, before broaching the issue of Kosovo's final status itself.

Since the end of Kosovo's 1998-1999 conflict, some 200,000 Serbs have fled the province fearing reprisals by ethnic Albanian extremists, while the remainder -- some 100,000 people -- live in fear for their lives and property.

NATO-led peacekeepers have been deployed throughout Kosovo since the alliance's bombing campaign drove out Serb troops for a crackdown against separatist Albanians. NATO currently has some 17,000 troops in the province.

NATO chief Jaap de Hoop Scheffer meanwhile reaffirmed that the NATO-led KFOR peaceepers were there to protect both the majority ethnic Albanian population as well as the minority Serbs.

"The Alliance will not run away and shut the door behind it as soon as there is a solution ... there will be a need for a security presence," he said. "What exactly that would look like is too early to say," he added.

Ahtisaari added that he plans to travel to Moscow and China in coming weeks.

3 comments:

Serbs In Kosovo are in Danger said...

This is a comment totally designed to get the Albanians all riled up so they attack Serbs and drive all them out. This comment could mean another March 2004. Serbs are going to victims of genocide soon.

NYoutlawyer said...

What is ceku doing in Croatia again? I'm sure the UN will look the other way on this too, just like his war crimes.

United Press International

Serbia police seize 59 pounds of heroin

SREMSKA MITROVICA, Serbia-Montenegro, May 18 (UPI) -- Serbia's police at the Croatian border have seized 59 pounds of heroin hidden in Swiss car driven by a 49-year-old Kosovo man.

A police officer in the western Serbian town of Sremska Mitrovica, said the heroin, wrapped in 51 packages, was stashed all over the car, the Belgrade radio-television reported Thursday.

The man, said to be from Pristina in Kosovo, will be kept in custody for 48 hours before criminal charges are filed and he is handed over to an investigating judge.

Serbia's police have seized a total of about 110 pounds of heroin in the past week at the Batrovci crossing point on the road leading from Serbia to Croatia.

NYoutlawyer said...

Russia and China won't be falling for Ahtisaari'a ass-licking. They wiil stand firm on "NO" independence for albanian kosov"O".

There is a worldwide war on terror, why would you give islamic terrorists their own state in Europe?