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Kosovo's future discussed in a conference in Vienna

Vienna, 21 March 2007 - A conference discussing future of Kosovo was held in Vienna today. The conference was organized by the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe (IDM) and the Economic Initiative for Kosova - ECIKS.

Representatives and experts in the field of politics, economy and civil society discussed Kosovo's perspectives in three different panels. Keynote speeches were held by Stefan Lehne, the special EU representative in the process of determining the final status of Kosovo, Prof. Vojislav Mitic from the Initiative for European Serbia and Veton Surroi, the leader of kosovar political party ORA and member of kosovar negotiating team. Mr.Surroi said that the political perspective of Kosovo depends on the next few weeks and months and if the process of determining the final status of Kosovo, including the approval of Marti Ahtisaari's plan in the Security Council, will come to its end as planned.

Discussions continued in the political, economic and civil society panel. In the economic panel, which was organized by the Economic Initiative for Kosova - ECIKS, the president of ECIKS, Kujtim Dobruna presented investment opportunities in Kosovo and informed the participants, among which many potential investors from Austria, about the services offered by the Vienna office of Investment Promotion Agency of Kosovo. Representatives of the World Bank (MIGA/IIWB), Austrian Development Agency and Raiffeisen Zentralbank also participated in the discussions about Kosovo's future economic development, it's chances and risks.

The discussion panel for society perspectives brought interesting discussions from Fridhelm Frischenschlager, Austrian ex-minister of defence and board member of Kosovar Public Television (RTK), Martin Prochazka, south-east Europe expert from University Graz and Beq Cufaj, the founder of European Initiative of Kosova. The panel discussed various issues, including the question if Kosovo is ready for independence. "Kosovars have still to prove they are capable of running an independent country. However, the international community must give us the chance to do that", concluded Beq Cufaj.

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