30 August 2006

Serbia Wants An Explanation-Kofi Annan Stands Behind Antisaari

Serbian negotiating team’s letter to Ahtisaari

Belgrade, August 30, 2006 – The Serbian government has published the letter forwarded by the Serbian negotiating team for talks on the future status of Kosovo-Metohija to UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy Marti Ahtisaari sent on August 10 2006.
The Serbian government’s website presents the letter in full.

“Dear Mr. Ahtisaari,

The Serbian negotiating team wishes to express to you their deep dissatisfaction and bitterness over the conversation between you and members of the Serbian delegation, which took place on August 8 2006.On that occasion you received members of our delegation in your capacity as UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for talks on the future status of Kosovo- Metohija, and told them that Serbs are guilty as a nation. All members of the Serbian delegation who were present during that conversation have confirmed this.The Serbian negotiating team categorically rejects such an assertion, because it has no factual basis, and is at the same time completely unacceptable from a moral point of view. However, such an assertion also raises serious questions regarding your impartiality concerning the ongoing negotiations on the future status of Kosovo-Metohija.The Serbian negotiating team demands an urgent explanation from you concerning your position in view of the assertion made by you to members of the Serbian delegation in Vienna on August 8 2006. In our opinion, such an explanation is necessary in the interest of continuing the negotiations and the successful conclusion of the negotiating process.”On behalf of the Serbian negotiating team,Leon KojenSlobodan Samardzic

BELGRADE, PRIŠTINA -- The Serbian Government will call for a parliamentary meeting to be held regarding Kosovo.
The Belgrade negotiation team will present a report on the progress of the Kosovo status discussions, said the Government’s Media Office Director Srđan Đurić.It is still not completely certain whether Belgrade will launch an initiative to have the UN’s Special Envoy for the Kosovo status discussions Martti Ahtisaari replaced because of his recent comment that the Serbian people are to blame for the Kosovo crisis. Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica said that the Government and the entire negotiation delegation will systematically lead diplomatic actions towards making sure that all relevant international officials know that Ahtisaari, as the Prime Minister said, holds strong prejudices against the Serbian people. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s spokesperson Brandon Varma said that Annan will continue to support Ahtisaari and that he will continue to lead the status talks, adding that his statement was taken out of context. Ahtisaari’s media spokesperson Remi Durlo confirmed this. Serbian decentralisation work group official Ranđel Nojkić said that the Chief of the US Office in Priština, Tina Kaidanow, held a meting with party leaders of the Kosovo parliament and commission presidents. “At the meeting, probably under the influence of Ahtisaari’s statement, a lot of far-reaching statements were heard. Sabit Hamiti, member of the Kosovo Parliament’s presidency and official of the Democratic Association of Kosovo, said that the Albanian team does not have the mandate to discuss Kosovo’s status, because the status has already been defined, and that it can only discuss technical questions. Teuta Sariči, ORA party member, said that the US administration has asked for support in the propaganda fight for highlighting the goals of the Albanian side. We reacted strongly to these statements and asked that the international community to prevent further statements of this nature, because such comments could encourage a new spiral of violence.” Nojkić said. “It is interesting that officials of non-Albanian communities and officials of parties that have non-Albanians within them showed distrust and disapproval towards the Albanian team. Distrust in the council led by Veton Suroi was also shown and it was asked that he be replaced as chief of the council because he is not helping the matter, rather causing more damage to the interests of the minority communities.” Nojkić said.