JEAN-MARC DE LA SABLIERE ( France) said that, although the authorities in Kosovo were now better prepared to participate in negotiations, thanks to progress achieved over the last months, not enough had been done in the genuine implementation of standards. He expected concrete actions and improvements in the field. Whatever the status of Kosovo would be, it would have to be multi-ethnic. He called upon the Prime Minister and the Provisional Institutions to take the necessary measures to accelerate implementation of priority standards. The capacity of Kosovo authorities in providing solutions would serve as defining criteria for determining the status.
He said that, since the last meeting of the Council, the Secretary-General had appointed Martti Ahtisaari as his representative to lead talks on the status of Kosovo. During this sensitive period, it was essential that the international community and the Council supported his mission unfailingly. Although the approach he had chosen, namely to tackle concrete questions first, was relevant, negotiations should be concluded in 2006. He called upon Belgrade and Pristina to resolutely engage in a constructive dialogue. The upcoming meeting in Vienna would be essential for the dialogue to start on a positive note.
He said the final status would have to be acceptable to the population of Kosovo. Leaders on both sides would have to demonstrate courage and determination. The result of the talks, whatever it would be, would be rooted in Europe. He hoped the parties would make the best use of the coming months.