Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Remarks by the SRSG to the media upon his return to Pristina this morning, following his trips to Geneva and Belgrade

very good in Geneva and less productive in Belgrade. In
Geneva I had very good talks on the missing persons [issue], [the] ICRC is
ready in February to resume the dialogue on the missing persons between
Pristina and Belgrade and I had very good talks with the International
Telecommunications Union; the issue of getting an independent code for
Kosovo is moving forward and I hope that we'll get a positive decision in

In Belgrade it seemed that - as very often is the case -  that Belgrade
seems to be able to only focus on one issue at a time and yesterday it was
electricity which the advisor to the Prime Minister called "the condition
of all conditions". They as I say focused only on that but I did inform
them about progress in the area of decentralisation, in the area of
standards implementation, I briefed them on my talks in Geneva with the
President of ICRC on missing persons and said that we would now move
forward and I had no comment against that so, I as say, we do intend to
convene a first meeting of the Working Group on Missing Persons in

Q: What was their reaction to [your briefing on the meetings]  in Geneva?

"I will say [that they were] just listening. I made it clear again that in
many areas which I think is also important for Belgrade - they are very
important for the Kosovo Serbs, that I know - in many areas we are making
considerable progress, the new government is making considerable progress.
I told them we are moving forward, the clock is ticking, it is not too late
for the Kosovo Serbs to engage but time is running and they'd better engage
as soon as possible because we are moving forward, this new government is
moving forward very determinedly in Kosovo."

Q: And what was their reaction to this?
"Discussing  only one issue, electricity, listening to my briefings on the
other issues. I trust listening carefully, I trust taking note that we are
moving forward, the clock is ticking."

Q: What's your position now that you've come back from Belgrade?
"I mean to continue moving forward; a lot of progress is being made in the
area of decentralisation, by the working group here, by the Prime Minister,
by the Minister for Local Government; a lot of progress [is also being
made] on standards implementation and in a lot of other areas, so we just
have to continue working hard - as the government  is doing, as UNMIK is
doing. We are moving forward towards a comprehensive review [and] with this
hard work  I expect there to be  a lot of progress in the positive
assessment which will take us into status talks, so we just have to
continue working hard on the agenda, continue reaching out to the Kosovo
Serbs, try to engage the Kosovo Serbs - but we cannot wait."

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