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Serbia rejects EU envoy's proposal on Kosovo
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10:29, November 19, 2007

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Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica rejected on Sunday EU envoy Wolfgang Ischinger's proposal on the neutral status of Kosovo as the proposal represents just another name for independence of the Serbian province.

"The response to the question whether Serbia will agree to have another Albanian state be created under any name in its territory would have to be known to everybody already. It is quite certain that the way to an agreement cannot lead through the making up of new names for the province's independence," Kostunica told the national news agency Tanjug in a statement.

Kostunica recalled that the proposals which had been presented by international mediators so far had been supervised independence, limited independence, confederation, different variations of the model of two German states and neutral status.

"It is now time for international mediators to show objectivity and propose some form of essential autonomy. We will help them in this in Brussels, by showing how essential autonomies function successfully in the world," Kostunica said.

Kosovo, which legally remains a Serbian province, has been under U.N. administration since 1999. The predominantly Albanians of the 2 million population demand outright independence instead of maximum autonomy offered by Serbia.

Fresh negotiations are continuing under the aegis of the troika of EU, U.S. and Russian envoys, but have so far showed little sign of breaking the deadlock.

"And if the result of the negotiations has been determined in advance and this means that Kosovo will be independent one way or another, then one can count in advance on Serbia's answer saying that this is a brutal policy of force which will bring nothing good to anybody and which will never force Serbia to give up 15 percent of its territory," Kostunica concluded.

On Nov. 14, Ischinger said in Washington that the mediating troika would present the new proposal for a so-called neutral status to Belgrade and Pristina, with the aim to "normalize relations between Serbia and Kosovo, without containing a single word on status."

However, Russia's representative in the mediating troika Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko said on Sunday that the proposal on "neutral status" of Ischinger was not the proposal of the troika.

He believed that it was uncertain whether the troika would succeed in making a comprehensive proposal until Dec. 10, when it should present its report to the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon about the latest talks.

Source: Xinhua



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