Uncompromising, nervous mood among Kosovo Albanians as key status discussions approach. UNSG envoy Kai Eide’s assessment on whether progress in institution-building, rule of law, decentralisation, and treatment of minorities sufficient for start of final status negotiations expected early October. Eide hosted Vienna meeting between Kosovo and Serbian ministers to discuss decentralisation, 16 September. Final status talks expected by end of year; former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari tipped as status envoy. President Rugova diagnosed with lung cancer; launched proposal for composition of Kosovo status negotiating team. Opposition PDK demurred, proposed resolution for independence in parliament. New head of Serbia’s Kosovo co-ordination centre Sanda Raskovic-Ivic called on Serbs working in UNMIK institutions to return to Serbian state and structures. New Serb regional police commander of Gjilan/Gnjilane wounded in 28 September shooting. Gracanica Serbs held roadblock protest after 4 Serbs arrested for war crimes 18 September. International Telecommunications Union declined UNMIK’s request for separate Kosovo telephone code.
“UN effort to rebuild Kosovo loses steam”, International Herald Tribune, 30 Sept. 2005.
“Serbia explains its Kosovo status position”, Southeast European Times, 23 Sept. 2005.
“Eide report triggers standards debate”, IWPR, 23 Sept. 2005.
For background see Crisis Group Europe Report N°163, Kosovo after Haradinaj, 26 May 2005.