Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Germany on the eve of preparations for Kosovo’s status (Koha Ditore)

Koha Ditore reports in the leading front-page story that Germany will continue to have the Balkans in the focus of its foreign policy and especially Kosovo now that the latter has entered the final phase of the future status. Unnamed diplomatic sources in Berlin have told the paper that Germany is deeply interested, along with other members of the Contact Group, the EU and the UN, to find the right and accepted solution for both parties in the case of Kosovo. The same sources said that difficult and decisive days await Kosovo in that phase of the status resolution.

The paper also notes that Kosovar and international politicians in Kosovo have been required to have clear management concepts. For Berlin, Kosovo will be an important point in the next chairmanship of the European Union, which Germany will take on from January 2007.

German diplomatic sources also told Koha Ditore that Berlin and other CG capitals with the exception of Moscow and Rome have no doubt that the result of Ahtisaari’s proposal will be the independence of Kosovo.

The paper notes that Germany will continue to play its mediating role especially at the UN Security Council. Visits by German diplomats have been planned for November to Moscow and Beijing to discuss the issue of possibly coordinating a new UN resolution that would remove Kosovo from Resolution 1244 and pave the way to Kosovo’s statehood and the clear EU engagement in a post-status mission in Kosovo.

The diplomatic sources added that it was extremely important for Kosovar politicians to be aware of the importance of the coming months. “In all levels we have tried and are trying to make it clear to Kosovo Albanian politicians that they must be ready to cooperate with UNMIK, but first of all by themselves, to manage the critical phase of moving from the administration of UNMIK to the independence of Kosovo,” added the sources. They also recalled that “in summer 1999 Kosovars lost sympathy towards the world public. Now, if any kind of violence or riots would happen after the status of Kosovo, the consequences for Kosovo would be so long-term that we won’t even know what to do anymore.”