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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-02-22

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Kosovo negotiations process 'difficult'

  • [01] Kosovo negotiations process 'difficult'

    Greece's foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos on Thursday predicted that the negotiations process on the future status of Kosovo would be "difficult", and reiterated Greece's position that the two sides should "refrain from unilateral actions that will not contribute to a positive climate in the negotiations", noting that the Greek side has stressed at all the fora and to all the countries of the region "the cruciality of protecting the historical and religious monuments", on which a detailed proposal has been submitted.

    "The negotiations process that began yesterday (Wednesday) in Kosovo is expected to be a difficult one, given that the two sides are setting out from completely different starting points," Koumoutsakos explained, and, synopsising the positions of the two sides, said that "Belgrade wants anything other than independence, while Pristina wants nothing other than independence".

    Asked during a regular press briefing to comment on "the Serbian Orthodox Church's pressure on the international community for the Ahtisaari Plan to not come to pass", Koumoutsakos said that "each of the two sides -- Belgrade and Pristina -- wants to create a negotiations atmosphere that benefits its own priorities. This also holds true for the initiatives of the Serbian Church".

    Regarding the recent violence against Serbs in Pristina and the destruction of an Orthodox church, Koumoutsakos said that Greece has stressed, both inside and outside the EU, that the two sides concerned must refrain from unilateral actions, or from actions that could create a non-positive atmosphere for the negotiation".

    With respect to the protection of the historical and religious monuments, Koumoutsakos recalled that the Greek foreign ministry "has repeatedly put forward and stressed the cruciality of the issue during all its meetings, both with Mr. Ahtisaar and with the countries of the region, as well as with the two sides in the discussions we had in Belgrade and Pristina".

    In addition, he said, "on the part of the Greek side -- not formally by the foreign ministry -- at the initial stages of the negotiation, a research foundation had presented a very detailed proposal for the protection of these sites, which was also conveyed to Mr. Ahtisaari and has taken its course".

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