21 March 2007

Negotiations must be resumed following presentation of draft solution for Kosovo-Metohija



Source: Government of Serbia

Date: 25 Dec 2006


Belgrade, Dec 25, 2006 - President of the Coordinating Centre for Kosovo-Metohija Sanda Raskovic-Ivic said in an interview for today's edition of the daily "Blic" that the general position of the UN Security Council is that after the presentation of the draft solution for Kosovo-Metohija by UN Special Envoy Marti Ahtisaari, negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina must continue which should lead to a compromise solution.


The official website of the Serbian government presents excerpts of the interview.


Continuation of negotiations:


We are prepared for continuation of negotiations. We will make efforts to have frequent rounds of talks and to discuss issues which were barely touched upon until now or were not discussed at all. From 15 of the permanent members of the Security Council 12 agreed that the draft solution by Marti Ahtisaari is just a good basis for further discussion. That is why, at least we here in Serbia, should not worry about deadlines and discuss whether a solution will be announced in March or June, because I am certain that will not happen. I don't want to say that the conflict will last the next 30 years, but it is a fact that a distinct change has taken place in positions among the international community concerning the deadline. Important members of the Contact Group, such as Germany and Italy, are also against a hastily brought decision.


Has Serbia been officially told which decisions will be vetoed by Russia?


Yes, we have been told officially that firstly, if it comes to voting in the Security Council on a solution favouring independence, Russia will not agree. Secondly, it was clearly said that Russia will be against the adoption of any unclear, neutral, and new resolution which mentions neither the sovereignty of Serbia nor the independence of Kosovo-Metohija. Russia will also be against Kosovo-Metohija being declared a special case.


What will be the status of Kosovo-Metohija?


I can only tell you what Serbia advocates, which is substantial autonomy. I can not tell you what status Kosovo will have, because that does not depend on Serbia alone. But if Serbia's will had not been taken into account, the status issue would have been solved a long time ago, by providing independence.


Is it possible that the decision on the future status of Kosovo-Metohija will be brought outside the Security Council?


That would be very bad not just for us, but also for permanent members of the Security Council. A new chapter would be opened, which would mean that Russia and China, could do whatever they want regarding their interests. But I think that it cannot happen that the decision is not discussed in the Security Council. Otherwise, the possibility would remain that Kosovo-Metohija is recognised unilaterally. There are a number of countries which would not recgonise Kosovo-Metohija, making it only a hypothetical new state, which involves a number of other problems besides entering the UN.


Substantial autonomy:


All those who claim that Kosovo-Metohija will not be able to develop are proved wrong by the concept of substantial autonomy, because relations with various international institutions are envisaged and Albanians will keep all that they have now. The difference between substantial autonomy and conditional independence is only in dynamics. Conditional independence implies that it will one day change into full independence, while autonomy does not include those dynamics and always remains autonomy. According to both solutions Kosovo-Metohija will not have a ministry of defence, a ministry of foreign affairs and a seat in the UN.


Were any unacceptable solutions for Kosovo-Metohija presented?


Only by Rupel, who told us that we should choose whether we want to enter the EU or keep Kosovo-Metohija. But not a single country had to give up part of its territory to pay for EU membership.