Friday, July 27, 2007

(AKI) Kosovo: Negotiating 'troika' to be named

Belgrade, 26 July (AKI) - A six-nation Contact group for Kosovo will soon name a negotiating 'troika' of US, EU and Russian representatives to mediate new talks on the status of Serbia’s breakaway province whose majority ethnic Albanians demand independence, Serbian media reported on Thursday.

The group, comprising representatives of the US, Britain, Italy, France, Germany and Russia made the decision at a meeting in Vienna on Tuesday, the reports said.

The move came after Russia, a veto wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council, blocked a UN resolution that would grant Kosovo independence in an internationally supervised process as proposed by chief UN negotiator Martti Ahtisaari.

The Security Council, after several attempts to push through the resolution, decided to turn the problem over to the Contact group.

Whereas the identeties of US and Russian representatives have yet to be disclosed, the EU chief for security and foreign policy Javier Solana, his deputy Stephen Lene and Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt have been mentioned as possible mediators.

The Contact group was tasked with bringing Kosovo's ethnic Albanian and Serb delegations back to the negotiating table aimed at reaching a compromise settlement that would win UN approval...... AKI

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