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Another Round Of Talks On Kosovo Status Gets Nowhere (Or Let The Fingerpointing Continue)

Guess what, ladies and gentleman, another round of talks on Kosovo status goes nowhere, according to Itar Tass, the official news agency of Russia (http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/).  It seems again to be an exercise in “Who’s on First?”  Serbs:  autonomy; Kosovo: independence.  Is everyone in the same room?  Moveover Fox News, meet Itar Tass, the epitome of what “fair and balanced” reporting is all about!

 Another round of talks on Kosovo status gets nowhere

BRUSSELS, November (Itar-Tass) – Another round of talks on Kosovo’s status with the meditation of the UN troika has finished on Tuesday, getting nowhere. Pristina and Belgrade have made no progress in the negotiations that were mediated by the US, Russia and the European Union. The statement faxed to ITAR-TASS said the Kosovo side had presented during several hours of discussion its vision of the province’s independence under international observation with on a format proposed by Martti Ahstisaaren. Serbia insists on Kosovo’s remaining within Serbia as a province with a broad autonomy.

President Boris Tadic, Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica and Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic led the Serbian delegation.

Fatmir Sejdju, the president of Kosovo; Agim Ceku, the prime minister; and Hashim Taci, the winner in the November 17 parliamentary elections and a feasible future prime minister, represented the Kosovo administration. Both sides have confirmed their intention to refrain from unilateral actions. The stance of Kosovo’s delegation at the negotiations remains unaltered, Russia’s representative to the troika, Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko told ITAR-TASS.

“All of them are on the same stance of Kosovo’s independence, and for this reason what there had been before the elections remains. It is regrettable that the Kosovo side insists ion independence, and has no interest in discussion of any other options,” Botsan-Kharchenko said. He said the Serbs presented in detail at the meeting the plan of Kosovo’s broad autonomy. “The Serbian delegation wished to show that the model of broad autonomy is effective and functional. Regrettably, the Kosovo Albanians refused to discuss it indepth. They are not ready to consider the proposals that come outside the bounds of the province’s independence under the Ahtisaari plan. They are talking only about a future agreement on cooperation between Serbiaand Kosovo, when Kosovo would get the independence,” Botsan-Kharchenko said.

The diplomat said “any official proposals on the essence of the negotiations have not been made” by the troika. Prior to the meeting, the European Union’s representative Wolfgang Ischinger said he could put forward an initiative on a format of future cooperation between Belgrade and Pristina”. The talks were “not bad and calm”. He added that no progress was made, even through the Serbian initiatives “make a good basis for discussion”.

At the same time, Botsan-Kharchenko said the sides agreed on Tuesday to look for the missing during the war.

“So I would not make any conclusions because of a lack of a substantive progress. The process is going on in small steps, every day confirming that it warrants a longer time in order some results are achieved,” the Russian diplomat said.  He said the mediators planned visiting Belgradeand Pristina by the end of the troika’s mandate on November 10. The visit is likely to be held in Baden-Baden near Vienna on November 26-28.

Botsanov-Kharchenko did not comment on a possibility of Kosovo’s declaring the independence without a decision of the Security Council.

“The talks are still continuing, and you should not let your arms fall,” he said.

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I am Mr. Cheeseburger 9000. I like my burgers medium-rare with a side order of french fries.

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