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New York City
April 7-9, 1997


  1. Kosovo constitutes a serious problem that requires an urgent solution.Without international encouragement and assistance the current lack ofconfidence between the sides cannot be overcome or a lasting settlementreached.
  2. The problem can only be resolved by mutual accord reached throughdialogue that is entered into with no preconditions or prejudgment ofpossible outcomes.
  3. The agreement must be based on the principles of democratization, mutualrespect between the sides, respect for human rights, both individual andcollective, and promotion of regional stability through respect for Helsinkiprinciples concerning borders. An interim solution requires a democraticKosovo and a democratic Serbia.


New York City
April 7-9, 1997

Concluding Statement of the Serb-Albanian Roundtable

On April 7-9 1997, leading Serbian and Kosovar Albanian political figuresmet in New York City to continue the roundtable discussions of Serb-Albanianrelations and the issues of mutual concern over Kosovo.

The participants included, from Belgrade: Vuk Draskovic, President, SerbianRenewal Movement; Dusan Janjic, Coordinator, Forum for Ethnic Relations;Miroljub Labus, Vice-President, Democratic Party; Dragoljub Micunovic,President, Party of Democratic Center; Dusan Mihajlovic, President, NewDemocracy Party; Vesna Pesic, President, Civic Alliance of Serbia; fromPrishtina: Fehmi Agani, Vice-President, Democratic League of Kosovo; MahmutBakalli, former political leader of Kosovo; Adem Demaci, President,Parliamentary Party of Kosovo; Hydajet Hyseni, Vice-President, DemocraticLeague of Kosovo; Abdullah Karjagdiu, Vice-President, Parliamentary Party ofKosovo; Mark Krasniqi, Chairman, Christian Democratic Party of Kosovo; VetonSurroi, Editor-in-Chief, Koha. Representatives of the Socialist Party ofSerbia were invited, but did not attend.

The first roundtable "Democratic Processes and Ethnic Relations inYugoslavia" was held in Belgrade in June 1995. At that meeting the SocialistParty of Serbia proposed to begin serious discussions towards seeking asolution to the problems in Serb-Albanian relations. The most importantresult of the first roundtable was the support of this initiative by theDemocratic League of Kosovo.

A number of political events in Serbia/Yugoslavia delayed the resumption ofthe discussions. Finally the participants agreed to convene the secondroundtable early in 1997, this time in New York City. The meeting wassponsored by the Project on Ethnic Relations.

The participants engaged in intensive discussions and exchange of views.Several common points emerged at the meeting.

The participants agreed to meet on a regular basis, and plan to reconvenethe roundtable as soon as possible in Belgrade, Prishtina, and othersuitable locations. The next session will be organized by the Project onEthnic Relations (USA) in cooperation with the Forum for Ethnic Relationsand the Democratic Center Foundation (Yugoslavia).

Accepting the fact that this is a difficult process, the participants urgethat a step-by-step approach aimed at facilitating the beginnings ofpolitical negotiations on the full range of issues be initiated withoutfurther delay. Participants realize their responsibility for the future ofthe Balkans, Yugoslavia, and Kosovo. The participants reconfirm theircommitment to the peaceful resolution of all disputes.

The Socialist Party, as the current ruling party in Serbia, has a specialresponsibility for promoting the democratic and peaceful resolution ofproblems in Kosovo. Therefore, the participants urge the Socialist Party ofSerbia, which participated in the first roundtable and suggested that therebe a second one, to participate in the future work of the roundtable.

The only possible framework for discussions of such issues must bedemocratization, mutual respect between the sides, respect for human rights,both individual and collective, and promotion of regional stability.

The participants are grateful to the Project on Ethnic Relations and otherAmerican institutions for their continuing support in promoting dialogue onthis issue and democratization in the region, and hope for similar supportfrom European institutions and organizations. However, all parties recognizethat solutions must be reached by the Serbian and Kosovar Albanian politicalactors themselves.


New York City
April 7-9, 1997


From Belgrade:

Vuk Draskovic, President, Serbian Renewal Movement

Dusan Janjic, Director, Institute of Social Sciences; Coordinator, Forum forEthnic Relations

Miroljub Labus, Vice-President, Democratic Party

Dragoljub Micunovic, President, Party of Democratic Center

Dusan Mihajlovic, President, New Democracy Party

Vesna Pesic, President, Civic Alliance of Serbia

From Prishtina:

Fehmi Agani, Vice-President, Democratic League of Kosova

Mahmut Bakalli, former Chairman, Kosovo Provincial Committee of the Union ofCommunists of Yugoslavia

Adem Demaci, President, Parliamentary Party of Kosova

Hidajet Hyseni, Vice-President, Democratic League of Kosova

Abdullah Karjagdiu, Vice-President, Parliamentary Party of Kosova

Mark Krasniqi, Chairman, Christian Democratic Party of Kosova

Veton Surroi, Editor-in-Chief, Koha

OBSERVERS From the United States

Steven Burg, Professor, Brandeis University

Aleksey Grigor'ev, Program Associate, Project on Ethnic Relations

David Hamburg, President, Carnegie Corporation of New York

Robert Hayden, Professor, University of Pittsburgh

Allen Kassof, President, Project on Ethnic Relations

Matt Palmer, Country Director for Serbia/Montenegro, US State Department

Rudolf Perina, Senior Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for EuropeanAffairs

David L. Phillips, Director, Project on the South Balkans, Council onForeign Relations, Center for Preventive Action

Livia Plaks, Executive Director, Project on Ethnic Relations

Barnett Rubin, Director, Center for Preventive Action, Council on ForeignRelations

John Scanlan, former US Ambassador to Yugoslavia; Member, PER Council forEthnic Accord

David Speedie, Program Chair, Program on Preventing Deadly Conflict,Carnegie Corporation of New York

Cyrus Vance, former Secretary of State; Member, PER Council on Ethnic Accord

Alexander Vershbow, Special Assistant to the President, Director forEuropean Affairs, National Security Council, the White House


Jeanette Mansour, Program Officer, The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation