Serbia proposes new talks on outstanding issues in Kosovo

Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in February 2008.

Updated: Jul 29, 2010, 10:47 AM IST

Belgrade: Serbia submitted a resolution to the United Nations on Wednesday which, in an apparent concession to international pressure, called for new negotiations on Kosovo but did not insist on status talks.

Belgrade wants the UN General Assembly to call on both sides "to find mutually acceptable solutions for all outstanding issues through peaceful dialogue in the interest of peace, security and cooperation in the region”.

The draft resolution, a copy of which was obtained by a news agency, makes no mention of reopening talks on the status of Kosovo, which Belgrade had previously insisted on.

Serbia had insisted that it would not hold talks on any outstanding practical issues, as the EU and the US have called for, if the question of status was not dealt with.

Pristina, however, quickly condemned the Serbian proposal as a confrontational move that "does not contribute to dialogue".

"This is a political game pursued for the (Serbian) public in order to show that the battle (for Kosovo) is continuing," Kosovo`s deputy Prime Minister Hajredin Kuci`s said by phone.

"It also aims at misleading the international community."

According to some observers, Pristina believes that by insisting on talks on "all outstanding issues" instead of just technical issues as Kosovo would like, Belgrade is trying to sneak in status talks through the backdoor.

Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in February 2008, a move that Belgrade refuses to recognise as it still considers the territory its southern province.