Thursday, March 31, 2005

UNMIK head tells displaced Kosovo Serbs, Roma he will stay in post

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Text of report by Serbian independent news agency FoNet

Bujanovac, 30 March: UNMIK [UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo] chief Soeren Jessen-Petersen told FoNet today that the return [of displaced people] to Kosovo was a priority issue, adding that this was why he had visited Bujanovac, where he had discussions with internally displaced Serbs and Romanies from Kosovo-Metohija.

Asked whether his visit to Bujanovac was a sign that he was going to change to another post - given that his predecessors always only came here prior their departure - Petersen replied that he "not only thought, but knew" that he would be here not only a month or two but longer, because as the UN secretary-general's special envoy for Kosovo-Metohija special issues [as received], he had much to do.

Petersen said that he "cooperated very closely" with [Serbian] Coordination Centre [for Kosovo-Metohija] chief Nebojsa Covic.

"Beside Mr Covic, I have a very good dialogue with Serbian President Boris Tadic and Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica," Petersen said.

Petersen said that Covic "was tasked to work on several technical issues which are of direct importance", adding that they had "very good dialogue" over that.

As previously announced, Petersen was to take over the post of UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Source: FoNet news agency, Belgrade, in Serbian 2040 gmt 30 Mar 05

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