22 January 2007

Sustainable economic growth, condition for Kosovo's stability


Source: Government of Serbia
Date: 21 Nov 2006

Belgrade/Brussels, Nov 21, 2006 - Head of the Economic team for Kosovo-Metohija and southern Serbia Nenad Popovic talked today with European parliament officials in Brussels about the current economic situation in the province and the Economic team's future strategy for its economic development.

Popovic acquainted the participants in the meeting with current economic problems in Kosovo and underlined that it is necessary to resolve the energy and telecommunication crises as soon as possible.

He also presented the dynamics of implementation of the National Investment Plan for Kosovo-Metohija, which provides the sustainable economic development of Serbian communities in the province.

Popovic said that citizens in areas with a majority Serb population in Kosovo every day face inhumane electricity cuts and added that their appeals are completely justified, as well as the Serbian government's requests that the disastrous energy situation in the province be resolved as soon as possible.

He reiterated that the Economic team has submitted three initiatives for stabilisation of the energy situation in Kosovo-Metohija to UNMIK and added that consultations are underway on the technical details of the proposal.

Popovic said that the blockade of the equipment of Telekom Srbija in Kosovo is economically unjustified and that it violates most directly human rights and living conditions first of all of the Serbian community, but also the interests of market-oriented ethnic Albanians who largely use the services of Telekom.

Participants of the meeting stressed the need for more frequent dialogue between representatives of the Serbian and ethnic-Albanian sides and the UNMIK on all questions, and especially on economic problems which directly affect lives of people in Kosovo-Metohija.

The collocutors jointly concluded that sustainable economic growth is the condition for stability in Kosovo-Metohija and that the newest initiatives of the Economic Team could become a good starting point for future dialogue.

In the first round of talks in Brussels today, Popovic talked with Chairperson of the European parliament for south eastern Europe Doris Pack, Director of the Directorate-General for Western Balkans Therese Sobieski, and with researcher of the EU Institute for Security Studies and professor of the Centre for the Politics of Central and South East Europe and the Centre for Russian and East European Studies Judy Batt.

Later today, Popovic will also meet with Stefan Lehne, EU special envoy for negotiations on the future status of Kosovo-Metohija and special advisor of EU High Representative for Foreign Policy and Security Javier Solana, and Director of the Working table II for economy of the Stability Pact for South East Europe Laurent Guye, reads the statement.