Friday, September 23, 2005

In the News: Kosovo has made enough progress for final status talks to start

We will see how this works out.  Last week it was also in the papers that Kai Aide, the diplomat responsible for studying progress on the standards, decided to delay the release of his final report for a couple of more weeks.  Over the weekend Serbia also announced what it means its by “limited sovereignty” proposal.  Under their proposal Kosovo would remain integrated into a unified military, police and border control system, but with an independent legislature, executive and judiciary.  I can tell you this, any proposal that puts soldiers from Serbia-Montenegro inside Kosovo’s borders is a non-starter.


UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The United Nations and its members recognize Kosovo cannot remain under UN administration forever, so talks on deciding its final status will likely get approval as expected, the top UN official for the region said.
Soren Jessen-Petersen said Thursday that the tiny region has made enough progress toward a series of eight benchmarks - including steps toward democracy and multiethnicity - that were necessary for talks to begin. He stressed that none had been fully met and Kosovo still had a long way to go.

"I am very confident that by the end of the year, status discussions will be underway," Jessen-Peterson said. "I think it is more and more understood that this is a process, there has been a lot of progress, there are still shortcomings."

Kosovo officially remains part of Serbia-Montenegro, the union that replaced Yugoslavia. It has been under UN and NATO administration since a 78-day NATO-led air war that halted a Serb crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists in 1999.
The province's majority ethnic Albanians want full independence, but the Serb minority insists Kosovo remain part of Serbia-Montenegro.

A UN special envoy is expected to make a recommendation to Secretary-General Kofi Annan later this month on whether to recommend a start of status talks.

Jessen-Petersen's comments reflected a growing consensus that the talks will get the green light even though the benchmarks have not been fully met.
He said a growing understanding that Kosovo cannot remain in its current state had essentially led governments to think differently about how they viewed progress.

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BAC said...
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