The issue of the regional representation of Kosovo has not been resolved, due to differing interpretations of the agreements attained in Brussels, head of the Belgrade negotiating team Borislav Stefanovic told a press conference prior to talks with EU mediator Robert Cooper. Stefanovic said that the EU mediator in the negotiations with Pristina is coming to Belgrade in order to explain his view of the agreement on regional representation and the freedom of move, and then to stress the necessity of continuing the dialogue and fully implementing all the achieved agreements. Our reporter Jelena Simic was at the press conference.
Cooper’s interpretation of the attained agreements is directly contrary to Belgrade’s stance, underlined Stefanovic, adding that the agreement on regional representation will only be implemented once it is institutionally arranged as it has been agreed – as a unified whole, which envisages that the title of Kosovo is accompanied by the full text of a footnote. Unfortunately, as Stefanovic pointed out, there has been an interpretation in favor of Pristina, i.e. that it has not been exactly set where the footnote should stand.
The invitation of Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic to Robert Cooper is a clear sign that the Presidency, in the situation of a government not being formed yet, is taking over the initiative in solving the Kosovo issue, explained Stefanovic. According to him, the dialogue with Pristina will continue in some form, and the future negotiations will probably be taken to a higher, political level. Stefanovic adds that they will probably be headed by the president or the future prime minister of Serbia. The hitherto dialogue has yielded very concrete results, but now political issues are in line, such as the status of the north of the Province, protection of Serbs south of the Ibar river, the status of Serbian monasteries and churches, as well as property issues. Stefanovic once again denied that Cooper will be bringing secret agreements and documents to Belgrade, unknown to the public and not seen by the Government, Parliament or Kosmet Serbs. He underlined that Serbia will not abandon its citizens in Kosmet, and will continue battling for their rights. The Serbian representative appealed to all to refrain from violence, because, as he stressed, it would be damaging to Kosmet Serbs and the national interests of Serbia.