10 December, 2005
The initiative for the visit earlier this week to Pristina and Belgrade by the informal troika of the Southeast Europe Cooperation Process (SEECP) -- comprising the foreign ministers of Greece, Romania and Croatia -- was the first step in the manifestation of interest in a steady presence by the region's countries in the developments, and ways of continuing this interest were being examined, Greece's foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos said Friday, during a regular press briefing.
Greek Foreign minister Petros Molyviatis, together with Romania's State Secretary for European Affairs Lucian Leustean and Croatia's State Secretary Hidajet (Hido) Biscevic, visited Pristina and Belgrade on Tuesday and Wednesday, as an informal Troika of the SEECP, where they held talks on Kosovo's future with the UN secretary general's special representative to Kosovo and head of the UNMIK (UN interim administration Mission in Kosovo) Soren Jessen-Petersen, Kosovo president Ibrahim Rugova, prime minister Bajram Kosumi, 'Serb Ticket for Kosovo and Metohija' (SKLM) leader Oliver Ivanovic, and opposition Democratic Party of Kosovo chairman Hashim Thaci while in Pristina, and with Serb president Boris Tadic, prime minister Vojislav Kostunica, and Serbia-Montenegro foreign minister Vuk Draskovic in Belgrade
The aim of the SEECP troika's visit was to signal the continued interest of Balkan-area countries in the issue of Kosovo, to brief the countries of the surrounding region on the situation and the views of the various sides involved, and to underline the need for frequent and meaningful consultation with neighboring countries.
Koumoutsakos told reporters that the crux of the discussions taking place regarding the future status of Kosovo was to ensure that any effort put forward would not operate at the expense of stabilization of the wider region.
Replying to questions, the spokesman said that the countries directly affected needed to be briefed regularly and constitute a part of the discussion.
He said the initiative for sending the informal troika for contacts with all the sides involved was warmly welcomed by all the sides, adding that the outcome of the meetings confirmed that there would be continuity.
Asked to comment on recent statements by EU High Commissioner for foreign policy and security Javier Solana earlier in the week that "there's room for new states in Europe", which has been construed by some quarters at intimating at a shift in the Balkans, Koumoutsakos said that there was much obscurity and confusion over precisely what Solana had said, noting that the statements came as Molyviatis was in Belgrade with the SEECP troika.
Koumoutsakos added, however, that if such a meaning had been intended by the statement, it was clearly in deviation of that which is being sought.
Source: Athens News Agency