måndag 10 januari 2011

Belgrade ready for Kosovo talks, says minister

Belgrade ready for Kosovo talks, says minister

10 January 2011 | 10:29 | Source: Danas, Večernje novosti
BELGRADE -- Minister for Kosovo Goran Bogdanović saysBelgrade is fully prepared to begin talks with Priština about the situation in Kosovo.
Goran Bogdanović (Tanjug, file)
Goran Bogdanović (Tanjug, file)
He also criticized the Kosovo Albanian authorities for "doing nothing to get the dialogue started," adding that the talks have to begin as soon as Kosovo forms a new government.

"We expect the negotiations to start as soon as possible, because we feel it is in the interest of both Serbs and ethnic Albanians to begin discussions on Kosovo's open issues," Bogdanović told Belgrade's Večernje Novosti daily.

"All those with good will and realistic views know that the current situation in Kosovo cannot be sustained and suits no one, which is why proper and honest negotiations must be held, to reach a compromise between Serbs and ethnic Albanians and solve everyday issues in our province," he noted.

Bogdanović rejected any doubts about the Serbian government's willingness to start the talks, adding that his ministry had formed a working group to lobby for the negotiating team.

Kosovo's status will have to be one of the topics, because all of the issues on the table are related to it, he remarked.

Serbia will negotiate with any legitimate representatives of Kosovo Albanians, he said commenting on whether the government would still be willing to sit down with the Kosovo authorities if Kosovo's Prime Minister Hashim Thaci was chosen to take part in the talks.

However, the Serbian government also wants the allegations against Thaci investigated, he added.

A report by Council of Europe rapporteur Dick Marty points to Thaci as the head of a crime ring involved kidnapping Serbs in the province and selling their body parts in the black market. 

"Platform still secret"
Meanwhile, the ministry's State Secretary Oliver Ivanović told another Belgrade-based newspaper, Danas, that elections in Kosovo and the Marty report have influenced the fact that the Belgrade-Priština talks have been "postponed indefinitely".

The government in Belgrade has its platform for the negotiations, he stated, and it's a secret document.

"However, it is clear that we cannot leave the constitutional framework," remarked Ivanović, and added that a partition of Kosovo "is not the Serbian government's official policy".

"I am not saying that some individuals are not wishing for it to happen, but that's not the official policy. I am also not ruling out that this will be the international community's offer once the Belgrade-Priština dialogue is over," said he.

Ivanović believes that Thaci will form the next government in Kosovo, and that it will "not survive for more than two to two and a half years, considering who the coalition partners are".

"The international community will put together a Hashim Thaci government and then in the next two years they will try to build up a new leader who could replace him. There's another possibility, and that is that by some miracle Ramush Haradinaj is set free by the Hague (Tribunal), and then he'll try to bring the Thaci government down," Ivanović told the daily, adding that this was "not likely to happen".

But he does expect that "foreigners will certainly start creating a new personality" in Kosovo, since they "obviously failed with (creating) some urban personalities".

"Kosovo is not ready for a civil option. They will try to affirm the next Kosovo leader from one of the radical parties," Ivanović concluded.

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