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15 Feb, 2007 11:28

Belgrade rejects Ahtisaari’s plan for Kosovo

Belgrade rejects Ahtisaari’s plan for Kosovo

The Serbian lawmakers say they rejected the UN plan because they claim it would illegally lay the foundations for creating a new state within a Serbian territory and “breach fundamental principles of international law”.

This February, the UN Special Envoy Martii Ahtisaari delivered a draft status settlement proposal to Belgrade. It covered a wide range of issues related to Kosovo's future, in particular measures to protect Kosovo's non-Albanian communities.

The draft did not mention the word “independence,” but included several provisions that were widely interpreted as implying statehood for the breakaway province, which Kosovo's Albanians have been demanding since 1999. The draft settlement would give Kosovo, which is currently run by the UN, the right to apply for membership of international organizations, create its own Security Force and adopt national symbols.

Final talks regarding the future of Kosovo will take place later this month and Mr Ahtisaari intends to present a final report to the UN Security Council by late March. Most international observers think these negotiations will lead to Kosovo's independence, although with certain conditions placed on the exercise of its sovereignty.

However, a compromise solution seems to be unlikely, and the final say on province's long-term future may be up to the international community.