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Living together - Combining diversity and freedom in 21st-century Europe [Report of the Group of Eminent Persons of the Council of Europe] PDF DOWNLOAD >>

DOCUMENTARIO DEDICATO DA AL-JAZEERA ALLA LEADER RADICALE EMMA BONINO

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>> The International Herald Tribune


KOSOVO TEAM WILL STAND FIRM, NEGOTIATOR SAYS

The International Herald Tribune - August 7, 2007 Kosovo's ethnic Albanian leaders will not budge from demands for independence for the province in talks with Serbia, a senior official on Kosovo's negotiating team said Monday. The official, Blerim Shala, said Kosovo's leaders would not negotiate independence or borders. But he said they supported a UN proposal to give the Serbian minority broad rights. "These are the three positions that have been stated," Shala said. "They will not change." The negotiations have been billed as a last-ditch effort by Western powers and Russia to get the two sides to agree. While Kosovo remains a province of Serbia under international law, it has been under UN and NATO administration since a NATO-led air war in 1999 halted a crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists by Slobodan Milosevic, then president of Yugoslavia. Envoys are scheduled to arrive in Kosovo at the end of the week for talks. The group that will be meeting is composed of representatives from the United States, the European Union and Russia. In Belgrade, Serbia's prime minister, Vojislav Kostunica, said new talks could pave the way for a compromise that would "fulfill the essential interests" of both Serbia and the Kosovo Albanians. He did not elaborate, but he added that Serbia and Russia would pursue "joint policies based on the respect of international law." Last week, the Serbian government said it sent a list of proposed rules to diplomats in charge of the talks. It was reported that Serbia was ready to grant Kosovo cooperation with international financial institutions and some capacity in international relations. Serbian officials have said they would be willing to grant Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority broad autonomy but would not agree to independence. Yearlong talks led by former President Martti Ahtisaari of Finland failed to produce an agreement. The United States and the European Union's member states are now trying new negotiations through an advisory body composed of the United States, Britain, Russia, Germany, France and Italy. There is concern in the West and the region that Kosovo's ethnic Albanian leaders, increasingly frustrated by setbacks and delays, might unilaterally declare independence, throwing the Balkans into new turmoil.





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