First Kosovo mission of big-power envoys ends amid impasse

US, Russian and EU envoys wound up their visit to Pristina on Sunday after apparently achieving no headway in their first mission to try to set up new talks on the future status of Serbia's breakaway province of Kosovo.

First Kosovo mission of big-power envoys ends amid impasse
US, Russian and EU envoys wound up their visit to Pristina on Sunday after apparently achieving no headway in their first mission to try to set up new talks on the future status of Serbia's breakaway province of Kosovo.

The envoys departed without holding a press conference which had previously been scheduled.

Serbian leaders on Friday told the emissaries - US diplomat Frank Wisner, Russian envoy Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko and Wolfgang Ischinger, the German official representing the European Union - that independence for Kosovo was impossible.

On Saturday, Albanian leaders reiterated that for them, anything but independence was impossible.

Though the new talks were started in the final attempt at reaching a negotiated solution for Kosovo, both Belgrade and Pristina signalled that their doors would remain firmly shut to any concessions.

The US and EU want the talks to reach a solution within four months, while Russia says that the negotiations should go on until a compromise is finally found.

The first visit by the three diplomats was due to produce the schedule and rules for the talks.

After speaking to Serbian and Kosovo Albanian leaders on Friday and Saturday, the trio of envoys met Sunday with representatives of Kosovo Serbs and other minorities.

Kosovo was the scene of bloody ethnic violence in 1998-99 between Serbian military forces and rebel Albanian freedom-fighters.

NATO intervened in 1999 with a bombing campaign that pushed Serbian forces out of the province, which has been a virtual UN protectorate ever since.

DPA
Last Mod: 12 Ağustos 2007, 17:08
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