Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Kosovo will move forward with "unity and hard work" - UNMIK chief

Text of report by Radio-Television Kosovo TV on 30 May

[Announcer] On his return from the UN Security Council in New York, UNMIK chief Soeren Jessen-Petersen held a press conference at Pristina airport and called on Kosovo Albanians to fulfil the Standards.

[UNMIK chief Soeren Jessen-Petersen] I do not know what to tell you because I think it is already old news. Maybe just to confirm that we had a good meeting at the Security Council. The message was very clear. That is that the secretary general will launch a comprehensive review, that he will appoint a special envoy, probably tomorrow or Wednesday [1 June], to draft the comprehensive review. I think more than ever now the future is almost exclusively in the hands of the authorities, which means the government, the opposition, the municipal authorities and citizens. Everybody knows what needs to be done now over the next two to three months. I also hope that, in the first meeting of the Forum, we can focus specifically on how the authorities - and I underline the "authorities" - can now start concentrating on preparing for the next steps.

[Reporter] Mr Petersen, the French people said No to the European Constitution. How do you think this will reflect on Kosova's path toward the EU?

[Petersen] I do not think Kosovo has to worry about France right now. I think Kosovo really has to focus on implementing further Standards, ensure that the comprehensive review has a positive outcome, so that we can then move on to the next step, which is: discussions on status. I think it is too early to speculate on the consequences of that, and above all, I think that right now it is better that here in Kosovo we focus on our priorities, and these are: a comprehensive review, so that we can move on to status discussions.

[Reporter] Mr Petersen, you once said that September, October, this autumn will be the time for opening the status talks. Do you still stand by that?

[Petersen] I stand by that, but I have to underline again that the outcome of the comprehensive review is not a foregone conclusion. That was made very clear in the Security Council but, since we have until now passed each and every hurdle, and last Friday passed another difficult hurdle, I am confident that there will be further progress, that the authorities will work even harder and, if that is the case with even harder work, then I think that there is a good chance that the outcome will be positive, and then the status discussions will start. But again, I think that it is very important that we now take every step, each step, at a time, and the next step is the next two to three months with the comprehensive review.

[Reporter] Do you think that we still have on board all the political leaders and President Rugova for the Forum?

[Petersen] I certainly hope so because the good news is: last week we started in London, last Monday, and we saw that we have a united Contact Group. We saw again last Friday in the Security Council that members of the Contact Group who are also members of the Security Council spoke very positively about the way forward. It would be a great pity if we did not have a united political establishment here in Kosovo, because with unity it would be possible to move forwards. If there is any kind of division here, progress might be questioned. I am confident that everybody now understands what is at stake, everybody understands that with unity and hard work, Kosovo will move forward.

[Reporter] Are Serbs part of the Forum, are they on board or not?

[Petersen] Well, the Serbs know what they have to do. The Serbs have to join the democratic institutions and, if they join the democratic institutions, then we have Serb political parties in the Assembly and, since we have invited the political parties, we would then also invite the Serbs. But first they have to join the democratic institutions.

Source: RTK TV, Pristina, in Albanian 1830 gmt 30 May 05

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