12 July 2007

New round of Vienna talks on Kosovo



Source: Government of Serbia

Date: 21 Feb 2007


Vienna, Feb 21, 2007 - Negotiating delegations from Belgrade and Pristina will begin a new round of talks today in Vienna in the course of which they will discuss the "Comprehensive Proposal for the Kosovo Status Settlement", presented to both sides by UN Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari earlier this month.


At 10 am at Vienna's Austria Centre the direct talks will commence and Belgrade and Pristina teams will be able to state their objections to Ahtisaari's proposal.


The Serbian delegation will be led by coordinators of the estate negotiating team and advisors to Serbian Prime Minister and Serbian President Slobodan Samardzic and Leon Kojen.


According to the proposed UNOSEC agenda, the first day will concern the general principles from Ahtisaari's proposal which contain articles allowing Kosovo-Metohija to have state insignia.


On the second day the talks will move on to Annexes 1 and 2 which refer to the proposed constitution and the rights of communities and their members, as well as Annex 4 referring to the judicial system.


On February 23 the delegations will state their objections to Annexes 6 and 7 dealing with economy and property issues. This round of talks will continue on February 27 when Annex 3 will be discussed, referring to the decentralisation of Kosovo-Metohija.


The Belgrade and Pristina negotiating teams will discuss Annex 5 on February 28 which deals with religious and cultural heritage, whereas on March 1 the talks will concern Annexes 8, 9, 10 and 11, which refer to the security sector and future civil and military presence in the province.


The talks will conclude on March 2 with a discussion of Annex 12 which contains the agenda for the implementation of the proposal to Kosovo.


The talks on the future status of Kosovo-Metohija should end with the second round at a higher level on March 10 when Ahtisaari will present an altered version of the proposal to both Belgrade and Pristina.


Prior to the beginning of talks, coordinator of the Serbian state negotiating team Slobodan Samardzic stated that the Serbian delegation is under obligation to fulfill the mandate it was given by Serbian parliament and that it will therefore submit a number of amendments to Ahtisaari's proposal.


While entering the Austria Centre, Samardzic told the press he expects that all amendments put forward by the Serbian side be heard, stressing that these talks are a continuation of previous status talks.


He also said that on the first day the Serbian delegation will submit amendments to those articles of Ahtisaari's proposals which jeopardise Serbia's territorial integrity and sovereignty in Kosovo-Metohija.