Monday, July 10, 2006

Rohan "doing a bad job", says Serbia

Belgrade - The Serbian government sharply criticized Austria's deputy UN Kosovo envoy Albert Rohan on Monday, saying he has done "a bad job."

Aleksandar Simic, a member of Belgrade's negotiating team in the Vienna talks on Kosovo and advisor to the prime minister, said in the newspaper Politika: "He's done his job badly so far. His responsibility is the greatest that the Vienna talks have so far shown no results."

Simic said the six rounds of talks in the Austrian capital between Belgrade and Pristina were "badly prepared and badly run."

"One didn't know the rules, there were no protocols, and it was also unknown when the next talks would take place, and what the commitments were."

Simic pointed out that in June, EU High Representative for Foreign Policy, Javier Solana, had already said the talks were unsuccessful. Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica had even been told that the Vienna process was "dead."

On a planned top-level Belgrade-Pristina meeting, which according to unofficials reports is to take place in Vienna on July 24, Simic said that "in view of the fact that Vienna so far symbolizes unsuccessful talks, the site of the meeting may have to be changed."

In the past two weeks, Belgrade media have speculated about a possible replacement of UN chief Kosovo envoy Martti Ahtisaari of Finland. Simic said that due to the lack of success by Rohan, it would at least be in the interests of the chief envoy to replace his deputy.

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