June 22, 2012

Kosova: EU Mediates New Dialogue

The dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina will recommence soon with the help of EU officials as Serbia’s government sets to work in the wake of recent elections.

Below is an article published by ANSAmed

Dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina over the Kosovo crisis, which has been suspended over recent months due to the electoral process in Serbia, is to recommence soon, and will take place at a higher political level. The news comes from talks held by EU mediator Robert Cooper with Serb representatives in Belgrade. The British diplomatic, who met Serbia's chief negotiator Borislav Stefanovic and presidential advisor Marko Djuric, has moved on to Pristina today to hear the views of the Kosovo leadership.

While Mr Stefanovic expressed satisfaction with the talks held with Mr Cooper, he nonetheless stressed how there is a serious issue in the various interpretations given to the accord on the ways in which Pristina should take part in regional forums. On the basis of this agreement, the Kosovo representative can take part in such meetings behind a card bearing the name 'Kosovo' with an asterisk and a footnote saying that the word 'Kosovo' does on imply any notion of political status. This interpretation is in line with UN Resolution 1244 and with the ruling of the International Court of Justice in the Hague. While Belgrade is insisting on this accord and on the asterisk, Mr Cooper maintains that the footnote can be dispensed with during meetings and the presence of such explanations in official documents would suffice. But Belgrade has no intention of backing down over this point.

Meanwhile, the Serb minister for Kosovo, Goran Bogdanovic, has called Pristina's decision to open a representative office in the northern (Serb) sector of Kosovska Mitrovica a ''provocation''. This city in northern Kosovo is divided into two sectors, one Albanian and one Serb. Pristina has appointed Adrijana Hodzic as its office chief there.

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