Lajcak denies "special Kosovo plan"
The Slovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied that the country's foreign minister had a "special plan to solve the Kosovo problem". The visit of top European and U.S. officials has prompted the beginning of talks between Belgrade and Pristina, the BBC in Albanian said.
(KosovoCompromise Staff) Tuesday, May 04, 2010
Miroslav Lajcak has no such plan prepared and all reports about it are groundless, Slovak MFA spokesman Peter Stano told Tanjug news agency in Bratislava yesterday.
Stano's reaction came after Novi Sad-based daily Dnevnik yesterday published an interview with Lajcak, saying in the article that the Slovak chief of diplomacy had a plan "on solving the issue of relations between Kosovo and Serbia", after the ICJ opinion has been made public.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is currently deliberating the case sent to it by the UN General Assembly, in order to determine the legality under international law of the Kosovo Albanian unilateral declaration of independence made in early 2008.
Belgrade rejected that proclamation as an illegal act, and it has not been recognized by five EU member-states, Slovakia among them.
"Minister Lajcak has no special plan for Kosovo. He is distancing himself from what was written in the Dnevnik newspaper, and is underlining that his appraisals and answers given in the interview to that daily have been misinterpreted," said the Slovak MFA spokesman.
He also stated there was no information available on Kosovo reportedly being included in the agenda of the EU meeting in Brussels on May 10 - another claim found in Dnevnik's article.
According to Stano, Lajcak told the newspaper about ways to improve the situation in Kosovo, and about his recent visit to Pristina.
The spokesman added that Lajcak also said that Slovakia's representatives would discuss about Kosovo only within the EU framework and would not come up with "special plans", - and that the minister reiterated Bratislava's position not to recognize the independence of Kosovo.
The visit of top European and U.S. officials has prompted the beginning of talks between Belgrade and Pristina, the BBC in Albanian said.
The radio quoted unnamed international diplomats as the source of its story.
The sources also claim that the international officials want Serbia to give up insisting on opening the question of Kosovo's status.
Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini reported that those talks would begin right after the Western Balkans conference in Sarajevo at the beginning of June.
BBC reported that the Belgrade-Pristina talks will cover three main topics - decentralization, cultural heritage and northern Kosovo.
The BBC sources said that Pristina may form eight working groups which would assist in the technical preparations for the talks.
The same sources stated that the talks will be made "easier" through European diplomats in Kosovo, most of all Italian Ambassador in Kosovo Michael Giffoni, who is the EU envoy for northern Kosovo, and the head of the Greek Liaison Office in Pristina, Dimitris Moschopoulos, EU envoy for cultural heritage.
It is believed that the preparatory period will be conducted in August, so as to open a path afterward for the technical level of the talks, which are expected to be raised to the ministerial level later.
The diplomatic sources said that opening the talks about certain questions, excluding the status issue, may happen as soon as the International Court of Justice renders its advisory opinion on the legitimacy of the Kosovo Albanian decision to unilaterally proclaim independence.