Kosovo ethnic Albanian leaders will declare independence from
Serbia before May next year after intensive consultations with
Western countries on steps leading to a declaration of independence
and subsequent international recognition, a spokesman for the
Kosovo negotiating team said on Monday.
"The first step is the inevitable declaration of independence,
and the second one is formal recognition ... I assure you that
independence will be declared much sooner than May," Skender Hyseni
told reporters in the Kosovo capital Pristina, in response to the
latest speculations regarding the possible date of declaration of
"Dec. 10 marked the end of negotiations on Kosovo's status ...
what follows are talks on the declaration of independence and
international recognition," Hyseni said, adding that in the coming
days Kosovo officials would be preparing for intense talks with
Washington and Brussels.
Legally still part of Serbia, the Kosovo province of 2 million
population has been run by the United Nations since 1999, when NATO
bombing forced the evacuation of Serbian forces fighting insurgent
The troika of the United States, European Union (EU) and Russian
envoys had been given a Dec. 10 deadline to complete the
negotiations report, but they submitted a report to the United
Nations on Friday saying neither side had given ground on
The Kosovo negotiating team has decided to wait for the Dec. 19
session of the U.N. Security Council, after which it will decide on
steps to be taken with regard to Kosovo's future status.
Hyseni said that a number of EU countries supported the
settlement of the Kosovo status issue, but that Kosovo would not
wait at any cost for the support of all 27 EU member-countries.
Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu has sent a letter to the U.N.
Security Council, asking it to allow Kosovo representatives to
present their views on the future of the province.
A Kosovo delegation plans to visit New York and hold talks with
members of the U.N. Security Council and representatives of the
most influential countries.
(Xinhua News Agency December 11, 2007)