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14. March 2013.

Bujanovac – The Head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia, Peter Burkhard, said yesterday in Bujanovac that the President of the Coordination Body of the Government of the Republic of Serbia for the Municipalities of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja, Zoran Stankovic, and representatives of ethnic Albanians from Bujanovac and Presevo had agreed on the positions for future talks. Mr. Burkhard said at a press conference, which was held the Coordination Body’s Office in Bujanovac, that based on the agreed platform and with the support of the OSCE Mission to Serbia, concrete discussions on the issues between the local authorities and the Government of Serbia were expected.

He pointed out that he discussed the platform that had nothing to do with the platform adopted by the Assembly of all Albanian deputies from PBM on March 9, 2013. According to him, the said platform was agreed in Bujanovac after a meeting of all relevant Albanian political representatives, the Coordination Body and the OSCE Mission on February 25, 2013.  

“The major issue at all the meetings held with the leaders of Albanians from Bujanovac and Presevo was the platform and the concrete steps that ought to be taken for reaching an understanding between Albanians and the Serbian government. It was the main issue that we discussed over the past two days", said Mr. Burkhard.

He pointed to the willingness of the OSCE Mission to Serbia to offer help and facilitate future discussions that are important for improving the lives of the citizens of South Serbia.

Mr. Stankovic said that he had had talks, over the past two days, with the political representatives of Albanians from Bujanovac and Presevo who wished to make a better life for the citizens of those municipalities and Medvedja possible. Mr. Stankovic said that the starting point of yesterday's talks was the eight-point platform that included addressing the issues that Albanian leaders believed should be discussed with the competent bodies of Serbia.

“Based on how these requirements should be resolved, they are divided into short-, medium-and long-term ones. Short-term requirements should be met by January 2014, mid- term ones a year afterwards, and the remaining ones in two or three years’ time, "said Mr. Stankovic.

He said that the platform adopted by the Albanian deputies on February 9, 2013, wasn’t  discussed at the meeting.

“We don’t have such a requirement. We will operate only on the basis of what was agreed in the presence of representatives of the OSCE Mission to Serbia on  February 25, 2013.  That is the starting point for the meetings that we will be having with representatives of Albanians in the future", Mr. Stankovic said.  

Source: Beta