Friday, February 18, 2005

International body urges fast resolution of Kosovo status

The head of the International Committee on the Balkans, former Italian prime minister, Giuliano D'Amato, called on the international community to resolve the issue of Kosova's [Kosovo] status as soon as possible.

Giuliano D'Amato stressed that the commission aims at acceleration of integration of the whole region of the Balkans into the EU.

He evaluates that the challenges would overcome easier if there were a clear perspective for the countries of Southeastern Europe.

"The international community should make clear who are the players in order for this process to start. And of course the pending issue of Kosova should be solved in the shortest time possible, or else the actors would not be clarified," he said.

The delegation of the International Commission is in a fact-finding mission to get first hand information in the developments and the progress made in Kosova. It is learned that in the focus of their mission will be gathering of evaluation from the governmental and political leaders of Kosova on final status.

Expressing the concern on relations between the two ethnic communities in Kosova, (Albanians and Serbs), D'Amato highlighted the need for their improvement, "what would enable everyone to live safe here".

"This is the key prerequisite for every society. I can say that this is a key standard for them before they are together in Europe. This is dependent from the laws, from the institution, but mostly from us, from our culture, feelings, and from our basic values," he said following the meeting with Kosova President Ibrahim Rugova.

The president and Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj had separate meetings with the delegation.

"We insist that a quick recognition of independence would resolve the internal democratic and economic problems. It would enable integration of minorities in our country, as well," said Rugova.

Whereas Haradinaj said that it is a general will here for the status to be resolved in the shortest time possible, "as an independent country, which is a necessity for our life in Kosova".

"I assured him that we are determined to work for all, including Serbs, to have a future in Kosova. In particular we are interested to give our contribution for better relations in the region."

The International Commission for the Balkans, which numbers many former senior politicians, has not a decision-making power, but it has an influence at the EU structures.

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