Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Kosovo likely to hold decentralization talks with UN experts this month

Text of report by Radio-Television Kosovo TV website on 14 August

The month of August will be one of the hottest in talks on technical issues for the Kosova [Kosovo] Negotiation Team. The talks will most likely not be with Serbs but with UNOSEK [UN Office of the Special Envoy for Kosovo]. The temperature will rise on 21 and 22 August when two meetings at the level of experts are expected to be held in Pristina.

The first meeting will be on the financing of new municipalities, while the agenda for the second meeting is still unknown. In the coming days experts from UNOSEK will come to Kosova to hold talks on technical issues and will then travel to Belgrade, said Hua Jiang, the spokeswoman for the UN special envoy for Kosova status talks, Martti Ahtisaari, confirming the 21 and 22 August meetings.

She added that no concrete date has been set on when the direct meetings on decentralization and community rights can be held, but there is a possibility that decentralisation talks may be held early next month, said spokeswoman Jiang. A member of the Kosova Negotiation Team said that decentralization, the competencies of municipalities and the rights of minorities will be discussed at these meetings, but they will not be like the meetings in Vienna because no Serb experts will be present. There is only a 2 per cent difference between the position of the Kosova Negotiation Team and UN special envoy for Kosova status talks Martti Ahtisaari's office on the issue of decentralization.

Source: RTK TV website, Pristina, in Albanian 14 Aug 06

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