Kosovo has told the United States that it will not pursue a unilateral push for independence. The assurance came during a meeting between Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and a Kosovan delegation in Washington. Kosovan Prime Minister Agim Ceku intimated on Friday that Pristina would declare independance on the 28th of November.
His words came after a resolution, aimed at negotiating a way out of the deadlock, was put aside by the UN when Russia threatened to exercise its veto.
Kosovo is at the same time an international protectorate and legally part of Serbia. The Albanian majority seek independance while the Serbian minority want to stay linked with Belgrade.
Mindful of secession issues closer to home, EU foreign ministers are keen to resolve the problem peacefully, said France’s Bernard Kouchner:
“The Kosovars must understand that they are not alone in this. The Serbs are also involved. But Belgrade needs to understand that concessions must be granted. All wars finish with peace and peace must be negotiated, however hard that may seem. This is how the EU itself came about.”
With the UN route temporarily off-limits due to Russia’s opposition, the so-called Contact Group comprising Russia, the US, Britain, France, Italy and Germany will hold talks with all sides for the next four months.
The Group meets tomorrow in Vienna but no single country has the power of veto.