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Serbo Journal

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Pristina, May 5 - Goran Bogdanovic, a member of the Serb team at negotiations on the future status of Kosovo, said this evening that the Pristina team arrived at the meeting in Vienna with the pre-prepared position of talks failing.

"Keeping Serb locations immersed in Albanian municipalities mean a continuation of departures, which the Serb side cannot accept," said Bogdanovic.

He said that the Serb side at the Vienna negotiations of the last two days proposed the forming of 13 additional municipalities in Kosovo and Metohija.

"Our proposal was based on the official report of Kai Eide, the UN secretary-general's special rapporteur for assessment of standards fulfillment," said Bogdanovic.

He said that the proposal of the Belgrade team was based on population numbers, territory and property ownership.

"However, the Albanians consider this proposal an attempt to divide Kosovo. Their position, unlike our own, was that only two Serb municipalities should be formed, Gracanica and Partes, and that during the decentralization process Serbs would be left with 24 percent of the territory of Kosovo, which does not correspond to the real situation," said Bogdanovic.

He explained that the Serb side proposed the forming of a municipalities in Velika Hoca based on the existence of 13 medieval churches there, Gorazdevac near Pec as a Serb enclave, Osojane with the villages which at this time belong to the municipality of Klina, Gracanica, Lipljan, Obilic, Belo Polje near Pec, Strpce and Novo Brdo.

"We proposed that the municipality of Leposavic be divided and the creation of the municipality of Lesak, which had this status until 1959, as well as the forming of the municipality of Zvecan to include northern Mitrovica, and the municipality of Zubin Potok. In Kosovsko Pomoravlje we are proposing the forming of new municipalities in Ranilug, Partes and Vrbovac, and that a part of the territory of Kosovska Kamenica where Serbs are living be annexed to these municipalities," said Bogdanovic.

The Serb side also proposed that the villages of Crkolez, Suvi Do and Banja be annexed to Zubin Potok municipality.

"The whole program and our proposal is based on respect for a basic standard, the continuity of territory populated by a majority community," said Bogdanovic. He assessed that the talks in Vienna were difficult and strenuous.

The results of the negotiations in Vienna will be summed up by Ahtisaari's team led by Albert Rohan, who is scheduled to arrive in Belgrade and Pristina on May 17-18. By then a final version of the decentralization program should be prepared.

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