Sunday, May 29, 2005

Kosovo Governor praises Kosovo Government,slams Belgrade

Petersen focuses on standards
NEW YORK -- Saturday – The United Nations is expected to name a specialized representative who will be responsible for assessing the progress of standard implementation in Kosovo[Kosova] this month.

After yesterday’s meeting of the UN Security Council, where Kosovo[Kosova] was the main topic of discussion,Kosovo[Kosova] governor Soeren Jessen-Petersen said that members of UNMIK believe that considerable progress has been made in Kosovo[Kosova] . In a telephoned statement to Belgrade reporters, Petersen said that it is time to focus on implementing the most important standards, such as the return of refugees to the region.

However, he added that he does not expect that many people will want to return at this point and time.

“On one hand, there are many people who have left the region and do not plan on ever coming back to Kosovo. The other group is waiting for the final status of Kosovo to be determined. I think that in this case, numbers are not important; rather progress should be measured in creating satisfactory conditions for the return process. We must now be convinced that Belgrade truly wishes to cooperate with Pristina officials in order to make return efforts possible. Individual statements coming from Belgrade must be prudent. There are often statements being released that compare the situation in Kosovo to Nazi Germany. These kinds of statements will not convince people to return to their homes. Statements must be honest and accurate, but I think it would be helpful if Belgrade would with its statements try to convince refugees to make the decision to return rather than frighten and demoralize them.” Petersen said.

When asked about possible discussions between Serbian President Boris Tadic and Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova, Petersen said that such a meeting needs to be held on neutral territory.

“Rugova is prepared to talk and even suggested a location and I believe that President Tadic is ready to hold discussions outside of Belgrade and Pristina. I know that he said that he only wants to meet in Belgrade or Pristina, but I am sure that he will understand the importance of such a meeting, and the sooner they decide upon a third country, the sooner they will meet. Now it is only a question of finding a time when both are free to meet. We expect this to happen within the next month.” Petersen said. FoNet

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