Xinhuanet, June 02, 2005
US ambassador denies promise of independence for Kosovo
BELGRADE, Serbia-Montenegro, June 1 (Xinhuanet) -- US Ambassador in Serbia-Montenegro Michael Polt has denied Pristina's allegations that the international community had promised to grantKosovo independence within one year.
No one was promised anything, Polt said in an interview carried on Wednesday by the Belgrade daily Politika.
Polt said the international community was working on the revision of standards and getting to the point when talks would start on the future status of Kosovo, which is expected by the endof the year.
Speaking about Belgrade's insistence on the formula "more thanautonomy, short of independence" and its opposition to independence, Polt said that those were two ends of the spectrum, two positions.
He said it was difficult to say what a compromise would look like before relevant parties sit down at the negotiating table andfind an acceptable solution.
Still, Polt said there were some set conditions, which the Contact Group clearly defined as "no return to the status quo from1999, no unification of Kosovo with some other state in the regionand no division of territory".
A de facto UN protectorate, Kosovo is legally part of Serbia. Its future status remains the subject of a bitter dispute between independent-seeking Albanian majority and the minority Serbs, who want to remain in Serbia.