Washington, D.C., Aug. 18, 2005 - Kosovo Prime Minister Bajram Kosumi told the Voice of America (VOA) today that tensions between his government and the territory's Serb minority are due to "Belgrade's political agenda."
In an exclusive interview with VOA's Albanian Service, Kosumi urged Kosovo Serbs not to take political guidance from Belgrade, but rather to make decisions for themselves.
Speaking from his office in Pristina, the Prime Minister added that there would be no Albanian-Serb summit on the issue of Kosovo's final status. He did suggest, however, a future meeting with Serb Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica to discuss matters not relating to Kosovo's final status.
Earlier this month, moderate leaders of Kosovo's minority Serb community rejected a decentralization proposal offered by the province's ethnic Albanian-led government. Kosovo Serbs called for additional concessions prior to planned talks on the final status of the Serbian province > scheduled for later this year.
Kosumi's interview was aired during today's Albanian language Ditari 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.
The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 100 million people. Programs are produced in 44 languages.
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