Ahead of a visit to Kosovo, British Minister for Europe Douglas Alexander has an opinion piece in the daily Koha Ditore saying that 2005 is a decisive year for Kosovo and that even though “real progress” has been made, a lot more still remains to be done.
Alexander writes that more progress is needed on employment of minorities in Kosovo Government institutions. He also says leaders should extend hands to the minorities, while media should be more responsible and avoid incitement of tensions. Ethnically motivated violence should end and freedom of movement should be at the disposal of all citizens, the British minister says. “Violence undermines Kosovo’s aim to become a multiethnic society,” he writes.
He argues that every political leader in Kosovo has a special responsibility over this coming period. “The future of Kosovo is yours to be won or lost,” says Alexander.
Further, he writes that the final status of Kosovo is not what the United Kingdom says, but rather is an issue to be decided between Pristina and Belgrade. “Belgrade will have a role to play,” claims the British diplomat.
He however notes that the independence of Kosovo option is something that should be looked into, but he called on those who believe in the independence of Kosovo to “convince all communities and the world that independence can function” and that the rights of minorities are fully respected.
Daily papers also announce that the British Minister for Europe will be traveling on a two-day visit to Kosovo where he will meet the SRSG and Kosovo political leaders. He is also scheduled to meet COMKFOR Guiseppe Valotto.