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Yugoslavia: Two Sides Ready For Compromise At Kosovo Talks

Rambouillet, France; 9 February 1999 (RFE/RL) - Special EU envoy for Kosovo, Wolfgang Petritsch of Austria, says both sides in the Kosovo peace talks near Paris are ready for a compromise on the basis of the international community's proposals. Petritsch says the Kosovar Albanian and the Yugoslav delegations are already discussing a framework agreement, and are about to discuss a constitution for Kosovo, establishment of the post of ombudsman, and democratic elections. He says the biggest success is that the participants "are talking with each other very reasonably."

Petritsch is mediating the talks at Rambouillet chateau near Paris together with U.S. envoy Christopher Hill and Russian envoy Boris Mayorsky. He made the remarks in a telephone interview with Austrian radio today.

But Hill today suggested that the Yugoslav and Kosovo Albanian delegations are sidetracking the proceedings with what he terms "a lot of extra ideas."

Petritsch says the Kosovar Albanian and Yugoslav delegations are barred from submitting proposals of their own. He says that in the first three days of the peace talks, the parties have structured the negotiating process and begun discussing substantive political issues.

In an apparent bid to accelerate the talks, British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook and French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine arrived in Rambouillet today to meet the international mediators.