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The Vienna meeting on UN-administered Kosovo’s long-term status marks the first time the parties are discussing proposals prepared by the Troika itself.
The Troika has adopted a 14-point document as the basis for further discussions. For a full text of the proposals, see http://www.birn.eu.com/en/108/15/5350/
After discussing the proposals with the Troika, the Pristina delegation said it had no major objections.
"The discussion paper of the Troika does contain pretty much what Pristina’s position is on the future relationship between Kosovo and Serbia", said Skender Hyseni, spokesperson of the Kosovo Unity team of top negotiators.
The document is based on a number of points already included in the proposals prepared earlier this year by the UN’s special envoy, Martti Ahtisaari, which Serbia rejected at the time.
The contentious status issue is not explicitly mentioned among the 14 points.
Kosovo’s majority ethnic Albanians insist on independence, while Serbia has offered them only extensive autonomy.
The Troika's separate meeting with the Belgrade delegation lasted unusually long, reflecting an apparently tough discussion on the proposals.
Slobodan Samardzic, Serbia's Minister for Kosovo and Metohija, said that his side had objections relating to every point in the Troika's document.
"We would be satisfied not to govern Kosovo in relation to its own internal affairs", Samardzic said.
"However, that approach has been changed [in the Troika's document] through cutting out Belgrade, without leaving it with any competencies.
"Foreign policy and control of the border are the minimal competences that Serbia should maintain and preserve its sovereignty and territorial integrity", Samardzic said.
Before the discussions opened, the EU representative on the Troika, Wolfgang Ischinger, was cautious about the outcome of the latest round of talks.
"We have entered a new phase in our efforts to bring about a negotiated solution, with the Troika taking a new initiative.
"I am not going to make predictions how hard it is going to be. I would be surprised if the talks went easily", Ischinger said.
Face-to-face talks between the two sides - their third under the Troika's auspices - were to follow their separate discussions with the three mediators.
While Kosovo Albanians are represented by their top leaders in the Unity Team, Serbia is attending at ministerial level.
In two high-profile war crimes trials currently ongoing in Pristina, a series of witnesses have retracted previous statements alleging abuse at Kosovo Liberation Army detention centres.