France says Ahtisaari plan still foundation for Kosovo’s future status

If renewed negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo Albanian leaders regarding Kosovo’s future status fail to bear fruit, former UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari’s plan eventually will be implemented, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner indicated on Thursday (July 12th) following a meeting with Serbian counterpart Vuk Jeremic in Belgrade. Kouchner also linked the Kosovo issue to Serbia’s EU bid, saying the country would not be admitted unless Kosovo’s future status is resolved peacefully. “It is not possible to enter the EU with an ethnic conflict,” Kouchner was quoted as saying. For his part, Jeremic reiterated Belgrade’s opposition to Ahtisaari’s proposal and independence for Kosovo.

Meanwhile, Russia rejected a fifth attempt at a draft resolution on Kosovo, saying the new text put forward by the United States and the EU differed little from previous versions. “Behind diplomatic rhetoric, there is the conclusion that after the talks … the Ahtisaari plan comes into effect,” Lavrov said. The draft says that if 120 days of talks do not yield progress, the UN Security Council would make a decision on what to do next.

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