Ban reaffirms UN commitment to continued neutral engagements in Kosovo

08:43, May 18, 2010      

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Monday "reaffirmed the UN's commitment to continued status- neutral engagements within the framework of (Security Council) Resolution 1244," a UN readout said in United Nations.

The secretary-general made the statement in his meeting with visiting Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic at the UN Headquarters in New York. The two "discussed the situation in Kosovo, particularly in the north," the readout said.

"The secretary-general reaffirmed the UN's commitment to continued status-neutral engagements within the framework of Resolution 1244, including facilitating regional cooperation and dialogue between communities," the readout said.

"In this regards, the secretary-general underscored the need for flexibility and pragmatism from both sides as well as the importance of peaceful dialogue," the readout said.

"The secretary-general and the foreign minister also discussed recent positive developments in promoting regional dialogue in the Balkans," it added.

The meeting took place just hours before an open Security Council meeting, at which Lamberto Zannier, the UN secretary- general's special representative for Kosovo, said "Overall, since my last address to the Council in late January, the situation in Kosovo has remained stable, although the potential for volatility and instability, especially in northern Kosovo, remains."

The challenge continues to be the "absence of a significant process of reconciliation between the communities," which Zannier said gives the risk of "social unrest."

He pointed out the success by the UN mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) in facilitating Kosovo's participation in regional and international affairs, but noted however that "Kosovo authorities appear to believe that UNMIK's facilitation role is not in the interests of their declared sovereign status."

"As long as it is needed and helpful, UNMIK will continue to play its status neutral role with all stakeholders in order to foster regional dialogue and cooperation," Zannier said.

A breakaway province of Serbia, ethnic Albanian-dominated Kosovo unilaterally declared independence in February 2008. However, Serbia has vowed it would never recognize Kosovo's independence, describing the move as illegal and in contrary with international law.

Source: Xinhua
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