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Kosovo Ready To Hold Talks With Serbia As Equal Partner

Kosovar Prime Minister Hashim Thaci
Kosovar Prime Minister Hashim Thaci
PRISTINA -- Kosovo's government has repeated its readiness to hold talks with Serbia but only as an equal partner with Belgrade, RFE/RL's Balkan Service reports.

Kosovar Prime Minister Hashim Thaci said in Pristina on September 13 that "the [United Nations] resolution determines that any consultations with Serbia will take place only as two equal, independent, and sovereign states. Such cooperation will be part of efforts to build new interstate relations."

The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on Kosovo on September 9. It acknowledges the UN's International Court of Justice's advisory opinion on Kosovo's declaration of independence and tabs the EU to facilitate dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade on the issue of Kosovo's final status.

Belgrade considers Kosovo to still be a Serbian province.

Kosovar political parties -- both in power and in opposition -- have been united in their support for "technical talks" with Serbia. But the political movement Vetvendosja (Self-Determination) has opposed possible talks with Belgrade.

Drenushe Xhemajli, a Vetvendosja official, told RFE/RL that the "compromises with Serbia continue...[even though] Serbia has not recognized Kosovo and has not apologized for war crimes committed in Kosovo."

Despite the Kosovar government's readiness to hold talks, it admits there has been no discussion about an agenda or a time and place for talks with Serbia.

Kosovar government spokesman Memli Krasniqi excluded the possibility of the UN as a mediator for bilateral talks.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February 2008. On September 3, Honduras became the 70th country to recognize Kosovo's independence.