Friday, March 25, 2005

Rupel Stresses Need to Build on Kosovo Progress

Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel, the OSCE

chairman-in-office, has welcomed the formation of a new government in

Kosovo and called on all parties in the province to continue to work

together and build on the already achieved progress.

Speaking to the press after his meetings with top Kosovo officials, Rupel

called on the new government of Prime Minster Bajram Kosumi to assume full

responsibility for stability in the province.

Moreover, he urged the government to keep efforts to construct a

multi-ethnic Kosovo on track, the OSCE said in a press release.

Rupel also said now was not the time to burn bridges, but to work together

to ensure a European future for the Balkans.

"It is important for the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government to

make progress on Standards based on a commitment to building a

multi-ethnic Kosovo," Rupel is cited as saying by the OSCE.

Rupel met Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova, newly-appointed Prime Minister

Bajram Kosumi, Speaker of the Kosovo Parliament Nexhat Daci and the UN

Administrator in Kosovo Soeren Jessen-Petersen.

This is Rupel's second visit to the province since he assumed his one-year

stint as OSCE chairman at the beginning of January.

The visit is a continuation of Slovenian attempts to achieve progress on

the Kosovo issue, which comes as part of heightened efforts for stability

in the Western Balkans.

Slovenia has promised to pay special attention to SE Europe and its needs

during its stint as OSCE president.

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