Much Work to Be Done in Kosovo
German Foreign Affairs Minister Joschka Fischer met with Kosovo President Bajram Koshumi in Berlin yesterday.
The main topic of discussion was the implementation of democratic standards and the further political process in Kosovo. Fischer told Koshumi, according to the Beta news agency, that Berlin’s stance is that, in order for the discussions for the final status of Kosovo to begin it is important to see a very visible advance and progress in several key sectors.
“It is in Germany’s interest to see positive signals from Ambassador Kai Eide’s report, and it is also in our interest for the status discussion to begin soon.” Fischer said.
Fischer told Koshumi that he expects to see progress in the return of all refugees to the region, decentralization and multiethnicity, to respect the rights of all citizens regardless of ethnicity, giving all citizens the chance to live peacefully and safely. Fischer said that without progress in these sectors, no further discussions regarding status can go ahead.
Fischer also met with the European Union’s Enlargement Commissar Olli Rehn. Asked whether the possible halt in the enlargement process of the EU as far as the Balkans is concerned will have a negative effect on the situation in Kosovo, Fischer said that “the two do not have to be directly related.”
“In Kosovo it is now most important to see progress in decentralization on the communal level and the return of refugees. This is important so that positive changes can be seen not only in terms of standards, but in solving the status question. However, the complete future of the region depends on the Balkans having a strong leaning towards a European perspective.” Fischer said.
Kosumi Pushes for Status Talks
Kosovo Prime Minister Bajram Kosumi said that the decision of Kosovo’s final status cannot be postponed any further.
At a roundtable discussion in Pristina, organized yesterday by Forum 2015 NGO and the Riinvest institute for research development, Kosumi said that discussion regarding Kosovo’s final status need to begin this September and last until June of next year.
“There are many reasons why these discussions cannot be put off. The first is for the development of democratic relations, because democracy is represented by the reaching of a decision. The other argument is economy-related, having in mind that confirmation of status would be necessary for investors to want to take a chance on Kosovo, and without this, the economy cannot move ahead.” Kosumi said.