Text of report in English by independent internet news agency KosovaLive
Prishtina [Pristina], 22 May: US Kosova [Kosovo] envoy, Ambassador Frank Wisner, said today in Prishtina that the status should be resolved within this year, but added that Kosovar leaders should resolve all issues having to do with minorities first.
Wisner met today Kosova's senior officials and the Negotiating Team. "The US view is that the solution on status should be reached and that within this year. In the meantime the Kosovo delegation should resolve all issues having to do with minorities in order the status process move according to the agenda," Wisner said.
He called on the negotiating sides to continue without hesitation to address status issues set out by [UN envoy] Martti Ahtisaari.
He said that he and President Sejdiu agreed that it should continue with addressing the issues on negotiations table, such as the reform of local government, cultural heritage, economy and other issues having to do with the rights of minorities.
President Sejdiu voiced content with the meeting. He said that he welcomed an increased US commitment to the status process.
Sejdiu said that he has discussed with the US diplomat about Vienna talks and the need for acceleration of the status process. "We also discussed about culture and religious heritage - the topic of the upcoming meeting with Belgrade in Vienna and about our commitment to minorities and about this issue to be addressed according to acceptable international standards," he said.
Wisner also met with the chairman of the Democratic Party of Kosova [PDK], Hashim Thaci. Thaci evaluated highly the US stance on the developments in the negotiations process, and in particular the commitment for conclusion of status process within this year, "which is also the will of Prishtina".
"The US and the entire international community have same commitment as far as resolving of Kosova's status and democratization of our country. I am confident that if we will continue with the current commitment of implementation of Standards, and be as affirmative as possible in guaranteeing the communities rights and in guaranteeing Kosova Serbs rights, the trust towards Kosovar policy will grow more and more," he said.
This afternoon, Wisner will be meeting with the representatives of non-Serb minorities. He will also have a meeting with the Serb political representatives.
Source: KosovaLive website, Pristina, in English 22 May 06