Wednesday, January 05, 2005

UN deputy rep. in Kosova Rossin: Haradinaj pleasantly surprised us (Koha Ditore)

Koha Ditore carries the third part of the interview with Larry Rossin, Principal Deputy to SRSG Søren Jessen-Petersen.

‘We as a mission were pleasantly surprised with the energy, organization, determination and the priorities that he [Haradinaj] brought in the first days as Prime Minister. This is a pleasant surprise. It is clear that these are the first days and that there are many challenges lying ahead, but we expect work in partnership with the provisional institutions to achieve our objectives,’ said Rossin.

Asked what he expects from the opposition in the next six months, Rossin was quoted as saying, ‘I think it is too early to say. Democracy is healthy when there is an opposition, and the responsibility of the opposition is to oppose the government, this is normal when it comes to approaches. We hope the opposition is going to be responsible. Not everything should be politicized. There are certain things that shouldn’t be politicized in a democratic society. Things like Standards shouldn’t be politicized, and ethnic issues certainly shouldn’t be politicized. Nonetheless, we expect the opposition be a major critic of the government and to keep it under a watchful eye. And if the opposition sees that the government isn’t working in Kosovo’s interest, it is its duty to criticize this.’

Rossin said that the continuation of dialogue between Prishtina and Belgrade is one of the top priority standards. ‘It takes two participants in this dialogue, and so far we haven’t seen an interest from the Belgrade side to directly participate in this dialogue. The SRSG has stated that they are a very complicating factor, but there is a certain element of this dialogue that must be developed without any delay, and this is the joint group for missing persons. Because there are Serb and Albanian families and also other families that want to know the whereabouts of their loved ones, and this is the aim of this working group. In the latest meeting with Mr. Covic, I told him that this issue should be separated from the rest and this working group must meet and move forward as soon as possible.’

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