Serbs crossed out of Kosovo Negotiating Delegation

Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova on Sept. 13 appointed a delegation that will participate in the negotiations on Kosovo's future status.

According to a news release from his office, Rugova will head a delegation comprising Nexhat Daci, Bajram Kosumi, Hashim Thaqi, and Veton Surroi. Rugova also appointed the publisher of the Pristina daily Zeri, Blerim Shala, coordinator of the working groups assigned to prepare talks on the province's status.

"This is a historic moment for Kosovo. With serious work and unity in preparing for possible talks, we will show the world that Kosovo is ready to take its place in the community of free and independent states," Rugova said in a written statement.

Rugova also said that after his meeting with the U.N. secretary general's special envoy, Kai Eide, on Sept. 7, he was convinced that the path toward defining Kosovo's status could open very soon.

At the same time, leader of the Serb Ticket for Kosovo and Metohija Oliver Ivanovic said on Sept. 13 that the composition of the delegation set up by Ibrahim Rugova showed that this was "a delegation of Albanians."

"This means that Serbs' interests will be represented by their legitimate political representatives from Kosovo. A Serb delegation will be formed, which is supposed to have equal status and treatment and represent the third side in the talks," Ivanovic told.

The U.N. secretary general's special envoy, Kai Eide, has until the end of the month to submit an assessment of the implementation of standards, set for Kosovo's institutions by the international community as a condition for the decision to launch negotiations on the province's future status, to the U.N. Security Council, BETA reports.

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