Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Jessen-Petersen: Kosovo cannot be partitioned (Bota Sot)

Bota Sot carries an interview on page four with SRSG Søren Jessen-Petersen during his stay in Geneva where he attended the meeting of the UN Committee for Human Rights. The SRSG ruled out the possibility of Kosovo’s partition.

Asked about his opinion for the future of Kosovo, Jessen-Petersen was quoted as saying, ‘I have made it clear today before the participants of the UN Committee that Kosovo cannot be partitioned. UNMIK together with the Kosovo Government will continue the path of standards implementation as our top priority. At the same time, I also said that Serbs should join the society and institutions as their future is in Kosovo. My speech focused on human rights, progress in standards implementation and our commitment for a more advanced economy, to shed light on the fate of missing persons, security in the region, a safe future for Kosovo, now that we have several months before the start of the process for resolving Kosovo’s final status.’

Commenting on a question by the newspaper that Serbian and Montenegrin representatives were critical of the role of the international community in Kosovo, the UNMIK chief said: ‘Regardless of their critical statements for the role of internationals in Kosovo, I find their reaction today in Geneva to be constructive, therefore, I have the impression that they are also acknowledging the progress achieved in Kosovo and also the difficulties in the region. At the same time, the Serbian side has voiced its readiness to resume dialogue on missing persons.’

On Wednesday’s vote by the Kosovo Assembly on the appointment of Bajram Kosumi in the post of Prime minister, SRSG Jessen-Petersen said yesterday: ‘I am optimistic that this will go well. Together with the new prime minister, we have many obligations and tasks in advancing democratic processes, and also decentralization, economy and privatization. With the new head of the Kosovo Government we will focus on standards implementation especially in this phase when Kosovo is close to the resolution of its status,’ he added.

Asked to comment on Haradinaj’s eventual defence in freedom, Jessen-Petersen said, ‘We are willing to guarantee everything that is asked of us. We are only waiting for a formal request from ICTY and we will act in favour of Mr. Haradinaj.’

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