Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Petersen: Kosovo can be responsible like any independent country

Here is an interview that UNMIK chief Søren Jessen-Petersen gave to Belgrade-based Danas newspaper.

‘There has been encouraging movement in Kosovo, although most of the problems remain unsolved. We had good elections in October, but they were unfortunately boycotted by the Serbs. The government was formed, and then came the resignation of Mr. Haradinaj. The new government was immediately formed in accordance with democratic constitutional principles. I think this proves the maturity and stability in Kosovo and this is encouraging,’ Jessen-Petersen was quoted as saying.

Kosova Sot also carries Jessen-Petersen’s interview and highlights the following quote: ‘Many Kosovo Serbs are still sceptic. The reasons of this scepticism are the post-war events in Kosovo in 1999 and what happened last March. I think the time has come for Kosovo Serbs to take on another position.’

‘We are very close to adopting the principle for no partition of Kosovo. I expect it to be clarified within a couple of weeks. Most foreign ministers have clearly said this – France, Italy, Greece, Slovenia and others. Those among Serbs that prefer the option of partition, I believe that they have in mind the northern part of Kosovo. But by doing so they are ignoring the fact that two thirds of Serbs live in central Kosovo. Therefore, should two thirds of the population be sacrificed? In those interest is this? I think this is not for the good of Serbs. Second, I believe that for many Serbs in Kosovo it will be important to know that there will be no partition and first of all we should address the issue of functioning local government and other important issues such as education, security, healthcare, etc. I also think that Kosovo’s partition would open up issues in other countries in the region, such as Bosnia, Macedonia and Serbia,’ the UNMIK chief was also quoted as saying.

Commenting on the final assessment of standards and Ramush Haradinaj’s voluntary departure, Jessen-Petersen was quoted as saying, ‘I think most Albanians would be happy if Haradinaj wasn’t indicted and if he hadn’t gone to The Hague. But this happened and the people act with responsibility, and the society voiced its outrage in a very quiet way. This all proved that the Kosovar society is mature, democratic and responsible. I think this also proved that the Kosovar society can be responsible as any other independent country.’

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