07 August 2006

Pristina may propose establishment of municipality near Obilic

Vienna talks set to continue tomorrow

6 August 2006 13:51 Source: B92, Beta

VIENNA -- Belgrade and Priština will continue the Kosovo decentralization talks in Vienna on Monday.
It will be the sixth meeting of the delegations attempting to come to an understanding on the issue of establishment of new Serb municipalities in Kosovo. Attempts by the international mediators have failed in the past. At the last Vienna meeting, Belgrade insisted on 12 new municipalities, while Priština suggested five, adding expansion of an existing municipality into its offer.The press in Kosovo has speculated on a possibility that the Priština team might make a proposal to establish another municipality encompassing the villages of Prilužje, Babin Most, Plemetina, Grace and Crkvena Vodica, near Obilić, which have a Serb majority. It was announced that just as during the last meeting separate talks will take place, lead by the international mediators, ending in a discussion at the same table. Belgrade has welcomed this mode of negotiation, saying that it gave both sides more freedom to explain their position. After the July 24 Vienna meeting, the Contact Group has called on both sides to be more constructive when the talks resume. The international mediators have announced they will open the discussion on the rights and protection of Kosovo minorities the following day, August 8. Belgrade disagrees with this approach, since it considers Serbs in Kosovo a constitutive community, and would therefore like to see that subject discussed within the Kosovo status talks. Leon Kojen will lead the Belgrade delegation, taking part in the negotiations along other team members that include Aleksandar Simić, Goran Bogdanović, Marko Jakšcih, Dragor Hiber, Gordana Matković and Boško Mijatović. Priština team at the decentralization talks will be headed by the Minister for local governance in the Kosovo government Lufti Haziri, while Veton Suroi is set to lead the Priština delegation at the minorities’ rights and protection negotiations.