“As far as I can see, it is an impartial document. We are relying on the UN Security Council to analyse this document with objectivity and to then enter into objective discussions based upon it. In spite of current, and foreseeable, disagreements surrounding the future statute of Kosovo, within the “Troika” we are committed to working off the same page, taking into consideration that which is urgent and essential for all”, said the Russian mediator Bocan-Harčenko.
According to Tom Casey, a spokesman for the US State Department, the United States consider it necessary to go further with the actual defining of the Statute, referring to Martti Ahtisaari’s plan. Nevertheless, they are happy that the two parties involved “have wholeheartedly agreed to renounce the use of force and violence”. “We are expecting all parties to demonstrate a certain level of responsibility and reserve so that we can start moving forward”, he added.
Statements by the current Prime Minister of the Albanian Government of Kosovo support this, so much so that Agim Ceku wished to reassure Brussels by saying, “certain people are worried about a unilateral declaration of independence, however, independence will be declared in full cooperation with our international partners given the United Nations, NATO and the people of Kosovo have worked that way for 8 years”. He is convinced that will have no violent repercussions.
As far as Belgrade is concerned, it is far from over. During the “Les Carrefours des Balkans” Conference held in Brussels, Deputy Minister Bozidar Djelic stated that “it is never too late to arrive at an agreement”, citing the cases of Belgium, Northern Ireland and Palestine. While the Serbs have ruled out the use of force in the event of a declaration of independence, the Minister for Foreign Affairs Vuk Jeremic explained that there has always been an extensive set of measures available ranging from “the hardest to the softest in terms of diplomacy”.
On the ground, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is ready for any eventuality. John Craddock, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, said that their plans included the possible reinforcement of the 16,000 soldiers already deployed in Kosovo. During a press conference in Washington, he repeated that he is ready to defend the application of Resolution 1244 “given that this Resolution forms, for NATO, the legal framework of our presence in Kosovo” and he hopes that NATO Diplomats will support this.
The United Nations Security Council will examine the report from the “Troika” mediators, following their four months of negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina, on 19th December, in the company of representatives from both Serbia and the Albanian population of Kosovo. The following day, Ambassadors will discuss the issue informally with the Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki-Moon.
Snejana Jovanovic http://www.kosovo.over-blog.net
Translation : Neil Saddington