Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/kosovo : Eu Acknowledges Delay in Kosovo Status Decision

Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/kosovo : Eu Acknowledges Delay in Kosovo Status Decision

Article excerpt

"We are not afraid that the postponement of a decision on the final status of Kosovo will destabilise Serbia or the whole Balkan region," said Javier Solana, Secretary-General of the European Council, commenting on 13 November on the External Relations Council meeting on a recent UN decision on Kosovo status talks.

On 10 November, the UN announced that its special envoy Martti Ahtisaari and the members of the Contact Group that support a fast solution to the Kosovo status (Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, and the United States) decided to postpone the final verdict on the future of the province until after the Serbian parliamentary elections on 21 January. Solana made it clear, however, that the EU member states fully support Ahtisaari's efforts to shorten the delay as much as possible. "I agree with President Ahtisaari that this short delay will not be harmful to Serbia and other countries in the region" said Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn. But he added that "we can't leave Kosovo in a legal limbo for much longer".

The UN status envoy plans to present his proposal to Pristina and Belgrade in February. The status of Kosovo could therefore be known by March 2007. The decision to continue the talks did not take the international community by surprise. In recent weeks, President Ahtisaari has not hidden his reservations about the chances of achieving a quick consensus on the future of Kosovo. He openly spoke about a lack of readiness to compromise from both sides. Frequent meetings of the Contact Group and leaders representing Kosovo and Serbia had not delivered any concrete results that could form a status proposal. …

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