Ambassador Stephan Minikes addresses the OSCE Permanent Council
The United States wants to see the perpetrators of the assassination attempt against Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova apprehended as soon as possible, Ambassador Stephan Minikes told the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Vienna, Austria, March 17.
Minikes, the permanent U.S. representative to the OSCE, also appealed to everyone in Kosovo to maintain the calm that has generally prevailed since former Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj's March 9 voluntary reporting to The Hague. Haradinaj resigned his position after being indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for alleged war crimes committed during the 1998-1999 armed conflict in Kosovo when he served as a senior commander in the Kosovo Liberation Army.
Following is the text of Minikes’ statement as provided by the United States Mission to the OSCE:
United States Mission to the OSCE
March 17, 2004
STATEMENT ON THE ATTACK ON KOSOVO PRESIDENT RUGOVA
AS DELIVERED BY AMBASSADOR STEPHAN M. MINIKES TO THE PERMANENT COUNCIL
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The United States wishes to strongly condemn the apparent assassination attempt on the life of President Ibrahim Rugova that occurred on March 15 in Pristina. We reiterate that violence in any form will not be tolerated and can only hurt Kosovo's future. The perpetrator or perpetrators of this attack have to be apprehended and should be brought to justice as soon as possible.
We encourage Kosovo's leaders not to let this incident derail their commitment to forming an effective new government that is focused on implementation of the standards and reforming local government. The United States will continue to support Kosovo as it prepares for the comprehensive review later this year.
We also appeal to everyone in Kosovo to maintain the calm that has generally prevailed in Kosovo since Mr. Haradinaj's March 9 voluntary reporting to the Hague.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.