Wednesday, January 05, 2005

UN rep. in Kosova Jessen-Petersen: Negotiations start this year, not known when they’ll end

UNMIK chief Søren Jessen-Petersen as saying, ‘All that I can say is that if we work properly in the implementation of priority Standards, and if we have a positive evaluation, then I know that talks will start on final status, but I cannot say when these talks will end. It is too early.’

Jessen-Petersen gave this statement in Prishtina Airport upon his return from a two-week leave in Denmark. The UNMIK chief said he was willing to continue his contribution with the aim of bringing Kosovo to the point when talks can commence on final status.

Jessen-Petersen also said that 2005 was a very important year for Kosovo, and added that in the next couple of months both local and international officials will have their hands full of work, especially in the implementation of Standards.

According to the SRSG, the standards implementation and improving the economic situation are the top priorities for 2005.

Jessen-Petersen talked about the upcoming meeting he will have with Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica in Belgrade on January 17th. He said that he would discuss with Kostunica the process of decentralization, the issue of missing persons and dialogue between Prishtina and Belgrade.

‘The year 2005 is crucial for the future of Kosovo, therefore I am willing to give my contribution to bringing Kosovo in a position we all want, meaning at the launch of talks on the final status’, SRSG added.

In order to have a positive assessment, the institutions of Kosovo should engage maximally in implementation of the standards, SRSG thinks, adding that they should focus on economic developments which would improve among other things the lives of the minority communities, too.

From the Prishtina Airport, the SRSG expressed his condolences for the victims of Tsunami in Asia.

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