Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/kosovo : Eu Defence Ministers Call for Fallback Plan on Kosovo

Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/kosovo : Eu Defence Ministers Call for Fallback Plan on Kosovo

Article excerpt

The EU's defence ministers, meeting on 28-29 September in Evora (Portugal), agreed that the Union needs a fallback plan in case the talks on Kosovo's status end up in fiasco again. "International actors, especially those involved in the talks, need a plan for all situations and for all scenarios," Portuguese Defence Minister Nuno Severiano Teixeira said. He underlined, however, that the negotiations are ongoing and it is important at this moment "to focus on the negotiating process and on putting diplomatic pressure on both parties to find a solution".

Teixeira's comments came just hours after the first face-to-face meeting between representatives from Serbia and Kosovo, which took place in the margins of the UN General Assembly on 28 September in New York. Despite high expectations, the meeting did not bring any breakthrough. During the two-hour talks, the parties managed only to decide on the date for the next meeting. "We will have our next meeting with both parties in Brussels on 14 October," said German mediator Wolfgang Ischinger, a member of the Troika composed of the European Union, Russia and the United States mediating the talks.

The Troika mediators have until 10 December to complete their last-ditch effort to find a compromise acceptable to both sides, with the separatist Kosovo leaders threatening to declare independence unilaterally.

The EU's foreign affairs chief, Javier Solana, who travelled to Evora straight from New York where the talks between Pristina and Belgrade were held, said that there was no risk that before 10 December any of the EU's member states would unilaterally recognise an independent Kosovo. …

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