Status Quo of Kosovo Conflict Impedes Decision on Region’s Status – Javier Solana

Politics Materials 28 January 2008 17:23 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 28 January / Тrend corr E. Huseynov / The European Union (EU) believes the status quo in the Kosovo situation is unsustainable and hinders the peaceful move forward to determine the region's status.

"The EU has repeatedly stated that the status quo is unsustainable and stressed the need to move forward towards a Kosovo settlement which is essential for European and regional stability," the EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) Javier Solana said to Trend on 28 January.

In December 2007, the Troyka of international mediators from Great Britain, United States and France submitted a report on the negotiations with Serbia and Kosovo to the UN Security Council. The document says that the positions of the parties involved in the Kosovo conflict have not drastically changed. Pristina still insists on complete independence for the region, including full-right membership to the UN and other international organizations, while Belgrade agrees only to the status of part autonomy.

"Neither party was willing to concede its position. This is of course regrettable, as a negotiated settlement remains in the best interest of both parties," Solana said in an e-mail interview.

According to Solana, the sides should find such a settlement to the conflict which will ensure a democratic, multi-ethnic Kosovo committed to the rule of law, and to the protection of minorities and cultural and religious heritage.

"Kosovo is mainly the responsibility of Europe. We believe that the Western Balkans, including Kosovo, have their future in the European Union," he said.

Since 1999 Kosovo region, which is formally a part of Serbia, has been controlled by the United States. Negotiations on the final status of the region between Belgrade and Pristina have yielded no results. Three mediators are engaged in settling the conflict, namely Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko from Russia, Frank Wisner from the United States, and Wolfgang Ishinger from the EU. Kosovo strives for independence, but Serbia offers only autonomy republic status.