Still No Agreement on Regional Summit

Slovenian Prime Minister Borut Pahor, meeting Monday afternoon with his Kosovo counterpart Hashim Thaci in Pristina, stressed the importance of the upcoming regional summit in Slovenia, although neither premier could confirm the way in which Kosovo will be presented at the gathering.

Pahor said that he was trying to find a solution to this problem, stressing that he wants both Serbian President Boris Tadic and Kosovo PM Thaci to attend the regional summit scheduled for March 20.

He added that Slovenia and Croatia, as hosts of the gathering, want all regional leaders to participate.

The organisers face a request from Serbia that Kosovo appear under the UNMIK/Kosovo name, warning that otherwise the Serbian president will likely not participate in the summit.
“I cannot say at this moment that all the problems concerning the conference organisation have been solved,” Pahor said. “But we are trying and we are in a good position to resolve the outstanding issues in the coming weeks.”

“This is not the only problem we have. At the end of the conference we also want to approve a joint declaration on the European perspective of the Western Balkans,” Pahor said after the meeting with Thaci. Pahor stressed that it will not be easy to draft a joint declaration that is acceptable to all parties.

Thaci did not confirm Pristina’s position on the issue of the name but said that Kosovo wanted to take part in all regional meetings.

“Kosovo’s goal is to be part of NATO and EU and in the meantime to work with all regional countries,” Thaci told journalists. “Now we already have excellent relations with Macedonia, Albania, and Montenegro. We want good neighbourly relations with Serbia too.”

Thaci said that the Kosovo government would contribute to stability and cooperation in the region. “Kosovo will be extraordinarily responsible in this direction and will commit itself to addressing the challenges and upholding the values that can bring our countries closer.”

Due to Serbia’s condition that Kosovo must not be presented as a state at the summit, the organisers have pushed the idea of not using symbols, and have suggested that the participating countries appear only with the names of their leaders.

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