Monday, November 21, 2005

UNMIK chief says Dayton accord "cannot be applied" in Kosovo

Text of report in English by independent internet news agency KosovaLive

Prishtina [Pristina], 21 November: The head of UNMIK [UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo] Soeren Jessen-Petersen said today in Prishtina that there will be neither division of Kosova [Kosovo] nor its unification with another state or union of the region.

He emphasized that the negotiations are being held in order to eliminate Albanians' fear of returning in the past and Serbs' fear for their future.

Speaking at the press conference in Prishtina just few hours prior to arrival of [UN envoy Martti] Ahtisaari, Jessen-Petersen said that "the negotiations for solving Balkan's enigma begin today".

Jessen-Petersen expressed his optimism that Kosovar side will be prepared for the process.

Jessen-Petersen said that while the process for determining the status of Kosova continues, Kosovar institutions "should work continuously in implementation of the standards of decentralization and integration of minorities".

Jessen-Petersen said that the situation of security in Kosova during the negotiations will be under control, adding that there may be provocations as well.

He said that the international community has delayed the resolution of Kosova's political status due to its overwhelmed agenda with Afghanistan, Macedonia and Iraq. "The Oher [Ohrid] Agreement and the Dayton conference are two different things," Jessen-Petersen said. "It is sure that the Dayton Agreement for Bosnia and Hercegovina [B-H] cannot be applied in Kosova."

Jessen-Petersen said that solving the political status would also solve the issue of Mitrovice [Kosovska Mitrovica], admitting that UNMIK and the international community have failed in addressing this issue.

He ruled out every possibility of holding a referendum that may prejudge the status, adding that Serbia cannot do such a thing either.

Jessen-Petersen said that the Kosova Assembly Resolution approved on Thursday [17 November] has not violated UN resolution, and it will serve as platform for Kosovar delegations during the negotiations.

Jessen-Petersen criticized leaders in Prishtina of not doing enough for integration of the Serbs. He said that an obstacle for Serbs' integration in Kosova society was Belgrade.

Source: KosovaLive website, Pristina, in English 21 Nov 05

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