Serb President to Ask for Delay in Kosovo Talks
06 February 2007
Serbia's president says he will ask for a short delay in renewal of negotiations on the future status of Kosovo. Boris Tadic said the six-nation Contact Group overseeing developments in Kosovo (Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Russia and the United States) should delay the discussions by about 10 days until Serbia's new parliament, elected two weeks ago, convenes for its first session.
Mr. Tadic said he will present this position to a U.S. envoy, Frank Wiesner, in Belgrade Tuesday as well as to ministers of the European Union. United Nations Kosovo envoy Martti Ahtisaari presented his proposals for the future of the breakaway province to leaders in Belgrade and Pristina Friday. Kosovo's ethnic Albanian leaders welcomed the proposals, which Serbia denounced as a recipe for independence.
Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority is demanding full independence, but Belgrade is strongly opposed. U.N. authorities have administered Kosovo since 1999, when NATO air strikes drove Serbian and Yugoslav security forces from the province following a deadly Belgrade crackdown on ethnic Albanians. Some information for this report was provided by AP.