Friday, April 29, 2005

SRSG proposes Forum for consultations between main political parties

PRISTINA – SRSG Søren Jessen-Petersen today proposed an informal Forum for consultation between main political leaders on key issues facing Kosovo.

“Kosovo should benefit from an enhanced dialogue between political leaders on issues of vital importance, such as standards implementation, decentralisation, and status preparations. An informal Forum could be the best place to do so – but it would support existing democratic institutions, and not substitute them,” he said.

The SRSG shared his proposal with President Rugova, 1st Deputy President of AAK and Prime Minister Bajram Kosumi, Vice President of LDK Kole Berisha, PDK leader Hashim Thaci, and ORA representative Ylber Hysa, over a working lunch.

“A lot of hard work needs to be done – and needs to be done quickly. The coalition and opposition have their roles to play, and that will not change, but on key issues of Kosovo’s larger interest, a strong dialogue between parties is essential to move Kosovo forward,” said the SRSG.

The SRSG pointed out that the Assembly remained the principal organ for debate between political parties, appealing to all leaders to ensure its improved democratic functioning. However, the informal Forum could contribute to greater dialogue between parties as Kosovo faced many challenges.

The SRSG’s proposal would bring together the President of Kosovo and the leaders of the four main parties in the Assembly on a regular basis for informal discussions. The President and party leaders welcomed the SRSG’s proposal, and agreed to provide their comments and support to the initiative.

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