Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Head of Kosovo delegation at Vienna talks says absence of Serbs not damaging

Text of report by Radio-Television Kosovo TV on 8 August

[Announcer] We have live from Vienna the head of the Kosovar delegation, Veton Surroi. How do you evaluate today's talks?

[Veton Surroi] We presented our document, while the Belgrade side tried to change the topic and not discuss the real matter in question. This I believe brought legitimacy to the proposed document tabled by our side and in the upcoming days and weeks we expect that our document will become the basis of the talks.

[Announcer] How did the Serb delegation and international mediators react to the document proposed by the Kosovar side?

[Surroi] The international mediators have had knowledge of this document since April this year, while Belgrade attempted not to discuss the document and tried to minimize the document's provisions on the rights of the Serbs, considering them to be state forming.

[Announcer] The Kosova [Kosovo] Serbs were not present with the Belgrade delegation, does this damage the process?

[Surroi] It does not damage the process, the Kosova Serbs belong with the Kosovar delegation and not with Belgrade.

[Announcer] This was the first meeting on this issue. What will happen next? Will there be other meetings?

[Surroi] It was the first meeting and it is important for the fact that after 20 years we have arrived at a realistic situation to start talks between the Albanian majority and the communities that are minorities. We expect that in the future we will have a meeting with UNOSEK [UN Office of the Special Envoy for Kosovo] experts. These experts will make concrete remarks on our document and we will try to consolidate the document, to make additional proposals if this is needed. Then we will hand this document back to UNOSEK with the request to hand the document to Belgrade, so it can start formally negotiations on this document.

[Announcer] Mr Surroi, thank you for being with us.

Source: RTK TV, Pristina, in Albanian 1730 gmt 8 Aug 06

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