Southern Serbia: peace talks put in jeopardy by Albanian extremists

More violence by Albanian extremists has brought an angry reaction from Nebojsa Covic, Belgrade’s chief negotiator in the talks with Albanian commanders over the peace settlement for Presevo-Medveja-Bujanovac. There were four police casualties, one of these fatal, when a mine planted by Albanian extremists exploded near Orlova Cuca inside Serbia, Covic stated: “The latest criminal acts by Albanian terrorists throw further talks into question and prove the insincerity of the Albanian national community regarding the peaceful resolution of the crisis”. The Yugoslav authorities reiterate their plea to the international community and to the moderate ethnic Albanians to isolate the Albanian extremists. On the other hand, Riza Halimi, spokesperson of the Albanian negotiating team, complained that the Yugoslav authorities’ team included “placemen of the former regime”. It is possible that this is a preliminary to complaining about the composition of this team and pulling out of the talks altogether, creating yet another impasse in the peace talks.

TIMOTHY BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.RU LISBON