Thursday, November 13, 2008

Kosovo: Ethnic Albanians reject UN plan

Pristina/New York, 11 Nov. (AKI) – The United Nations Security Council on Tuesday postponed a session on Kosovo, after Kosovar leaders in the capital Pristina rejected a plan proposed by the Secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon. Ban's plan was related to the deployment of the European Union mission in the former Serbian province.

Serbia is opposed to Kosovo's independence and has resisted moves to replace the current UN mission (UNMIK) with the EU mission (EULEX).

But after weeks of secret negotiations, Serbia’s pro-European president Boris Tadic accepted Ban’s plan, regulating, customs, border control, police and the judiciary, provided the mission took a neutral stand on independence based on Security Council resolution 1244.

The resolution, adopted after Serbian forces pulled out of the former province in 1999 and Kosovo was placed under UN control, still officially treats Kosovo as a part of Serbia.

But after a meeting with western diplomats in Pristina on Monday, ethnic Albanian leaders rejected Ban’s proposal, saying it infringed on Kosovo’s independence status.

The UN Security Council was first scheduled to meet on Friday to put a stamp on Ban’s proposal, but was moved to Tuesday and postponed again.

Kosovo president Fatmir Seidiu told the media that Ban’s plan represented “interference in the internal structure of Kosovo”. The deployment of EULEX in Kosovo was acceptable only based on the independence plan forged by former president of Finland Martti Ahtisaari.

Ahtisaari’s plan called for “internationally supervised independence, but was blocked in the Security Council by Serbia’s ally Russia.

“We are for a dialogue which would facilitate EULEX deployment in Kosovo, respecting the plan of Martti Ahtisaari, Kosovo's constitution and laws,” Seidiu said.

Meanwhile, representatives of Kosovo's minority Serbs on Tuesday presented officials in Belgrade a petition signed by 70,000 people, who oppose EULEX deployment saying its main goal was the implementation of independence.

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