Merkel: Kosovo decision must reconcile autonomy with supporting Serbian democracy

Published on January 10, 2007, MIA

Category: Growing International Opposition to Imposed Solution

Berlin, January 8 (MIA) - A decision on Kosovo's status must reconcile satisfying ethnic Albanians' demands for more autonomy with ensuring that democracy in Serbia is not weakened, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

Merkel, whose country holds the European Union's rotating presidency, declined to say exactly what future she sees for the province, noting that UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari has yet to deliver proposals for its future.

- It is important that, on one side, the wish of the Kosovars for more independence be satisfied - but not at the price that we then have troubled situations inSerbia and democracy there is weakened, Merkel said in an interview with ZDF television. - Managing both is something that we can do only after the (Serbian) elections and after Ahtisaari's proposals, she said.

Merkel added that it would be unfair to pre-empt those proposals, but said the outcome "certainly will not be less independence.

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