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U.S. Diplomat Tells VOA Kosovo Albanians are Not Ready for Final Status Talks


If negotiations are to begin in the fall, all Kosovo residents must prepare

The highest-ranking U.S. diplomat in Kosovo told the Voice of America (VOA) Monday that local leaders are unprepared for talks to determine the final status of the province.

Philip Goldberg, head of the U.S. Office in Pristina, said “nothing has been done (by the Albanian leaders) to prepare for those negotiations.” He also called for a unified stand among Albanian politicians on the issue of preparations for the talks.

Final status negotiations may begin this fall, if United Nations envoy Kai Eide finds that the overall situation in Kosovo is favorable.

Mr. Goldberg urged Kosovo Serbs to play their part by participating in the parliament and other self-governing institutions. He blamed the government in Belgrade for failing to play a constructive role in helping Kosovo Serbs’ self-governing efforts.

Goldberg’s interview was aired during today’s Albanian language Ditari (Journal) program, which is broadcast each weekday from 6:00-6:30 p.m. local time (1700-1730 UTC) to audiences throughout the Balkans. VOA also transmits 10.5 hours a week in Albanian via shortwave. Programs are available on the Internet at www.VOANews.com/Albanian.

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