08 December 2006

Kosovo Proposal Delayed Until After Serbia Elections: UN Envoy

Deutsche Presse Agentur, 04:01 PM, November 10th 2006


Martti Ahtisaari, special UN envoy for the future status of Kosovo, said Friday he is to present his ideas for the future of the Serb province after the parliamentary elections in Serbia.


"In the light of the announcement by (Serbian) President (Boris) Tadic to hold Serbian parliamentary elections on January 21, 2007, and after consulting with the Contact Group today, I have decided to present my proposal for the settlement of Kosovo status to the parties without delay after the parliamentary elections in Serbia," Ahtissari said in a statement in Vienna.


Ahtissari held behind-closed-door talks on the proposals Friday with representatives of the UN Contact Group, consisting of the United States, Russia, Britain, France, Germany and Italy.


Ahtisaari was originally expected to present his report by the end of the year.


One year of UN-mediated talks between Belgrade and Kosovo's ethnic Albanian leaders has brought no tangible results.


In its newly passed constitution, Serbia reaffirms that Kosovo is an inalienable part of Serbia, while Kosovo's ethnic Albanians, who make up more than 90 per cent of the province's population will settle for nothing less than full independence.


On Thursday in the provincial capital Pristina, Kosovo Prime Minister Agim Ceku said the province's parliament may proclaim independence even if the United Nations does not recognize it.


Ceku said however that a UN Security Council resolution recognizing Kosovo as a sovereign state would be the "best solution."


"Kosovo will become an independent state. The time and the way it will be proceeded is still under discussion," he told reporters after meeting the head of the UN mission governing Kosovo, Joachim Ruecker.