Belgrade begins talks with Pristina with "suitcase full of solutions"

14:34, March 09, 2011      

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At the opening of the long- awaited dialogue in Brussels between delegations from Serbia and Kosovo, the Serbian lead negotiator announced his team was ready with fresh ideas to resolve the intractable differences between them, reported the Serbian news agency Tanjug on Tuesday.

"Nobody should expect any miracles," said Borko Stefanovic, adding that the Serbian delegation had nonetheless arrived with " a constructive approach, flexibility, and new solutions that it is ready to carry out. We have a suitcase full of good and new solutions."

The discussions between Belgrade and Pristina are being chaired by EU envoy Robert Cooper, with an initial focus on finding solutions to practical issues that affect the lives of Kosovo residents. The topics of discussion are telecommunications, land registry records, air traffic, and customs.

Deputy Prime Minister Edita Tahiri, head of the Pristina's team, took the opportunity to stress the dialogue was between two sovereign states and the nature of the discussion was "technical."

Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008, and has been recognized by the U.S. and leading European countries. However, it is not recognized by the EU or the UN, and Serbia has categorically stated that it will not recognize the cession of its southern province.

The northern regions of Kosovo around the town of Mitrovica, with a Serb majority population, continue to resist integration into Kosovo institutions and rely heavily on Serbia for institutional and financial support. This has been a source of friction between Pristina and Belgrade over the years with respect to electrical distribution and mobile phone communications, in particular.

Source: Xinhua

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