Text of report by Fatmir Aliu entitled "Jessen-Petersen: July - month of Prishtina-Belgrade meetings" published by the Kosovo Albanian newspaper Koha Ditore on 26 May
Prishtina [Pristina], 25 May: Soeren Jessen-Petersen, chief of the international administration in Kosova [Kosovo], said that it is very likely that the first direct meeting on the Kosova status between the leaders of Prishtina and Belgrade will be held at the end of July. But according to him, in order to reach this point, the central institutions should continue to fulfil the Standards according to this pace.
Jessen-Petersen, who travelled to Paris on Thursday [25 May], where he will meet political directors of Contact Group member states to arrange the positions on the path that awaits Kosova in the coming months, said that the status negotiations will not be held without the presence of the UN special envoy for Kosova, Martti Ahtisaari (UNOSEK).
But initially, according to him, there are some steps that will precede this great event.
"On 20 June, I will report to the [UN] Security Council, and most probably Ahtisaari will have a closed meeting at the Security Council in July, where he will report about what has happened in Vienna so far, but also about developments in Kosova. Based on these reports, he will suggest the path that should be pursued," he said. Jessen-Petersen added that "it is reasonable to expect that after these steps, he will request the first direct meeting on the issue of the status, naturally with UNOSEK, to take place before the end of July".
Although the first report on the technical evaluation of Standards fulfilment, which was published for the first quarter of the year, has a considerable number of positive "marks", Jessen-Petersen said that after 10 days there will be more data that will determine whether or not the status talks will be launched. The chief of the UN Mission in Kosova did not hide his optimism that there will be sufficient progress to include this issue on the agenda.
The Contact Group, in cooperation with the Kosovar institutions, has also come out with a number of objectives, which should be fulfilled in the plan of Standards, as trump cards that would give Kosovars more space for arguments during the talks.
These 13 points, according to the UNMIK [UN Interim Administrative Mission in Kosovo] chief, could be achieved only if there is sufficient political will. He announced that these 13 "requests" will be evaluated in Paris on Friday.
"The Contact Group has also requested another 13 to 14 other goals that should be fulfilled before 20 June or before the end of June. This is something that will be discussed in Paris tomorrow," he said.
At the tomorrow's meeting in Paris, diplomats of the Contact Group, according to earlier announcements, are expected to examine the work of the Kosovar institutions so far in the sensitive areas of Standards, which are mainly related to minorities. This is also expected to be followed by an evaluation of the process in Vienna and the course of the talks on technical issues.
Source: Koha Ditore, Pristina, in Albanian 26 May 06