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news 24 Sep 12

UN Tells Kosovo to Maintain Stability

The UN secretary general has told Kosovo leaders to preserve the country’s stability and solve all problems through dialogue.

Fatmir Aliu BIRN Pristina / New York

At a meeting held in New York, Ban Ki-moon has told Kosovo’s President Atifete Jahjaga and Prime Minister Hashim Thaci that the European Union’s role in the Balkans region is essential, and its guidance should be followed.

“It is important for Kosovo to maintain stability... all issues should be solved by peaceful means. The entire region should look ahead to Euro-Atlantic integrations,” Ki-moon is quoted as saying in the press release issued after the meeting by the Kosovo side.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia on February 17, 2008. Since then 89 states, including 22 EU member states and the US, have recognized it.

Serbia and Kosovo started EU-mediated talks in Brussels in March 2011, three years after Kosovo declared independence, which Serbia refuses to recognise.

President Atifete Jahjaga accused Serbia of jeopardizing Kosovo’s security and territorial integrity by continuing to finance illegal Serb structures in the northern part of Kosovo.

She said that such security structures keep frightening the ordinary Kosovo Serbs, with whom the Albanian-led government in Pristina wants to have a dialogue.

“We are determined to continue the dialogue with the Serb citizens in this part of the country to find ways to include them in the institutional life,” she is quoted saying in the press release.

Northern Kosovo, which borders with Serbia and is ethnically predominantly Serbian, does not recognise Kosovo's independence or the government in Pristina.

Serbia’s Prime Minister Ivica Dacic said on Saturday that he thinks that the partition is the only real possible solution for solving Kosovo’s status issue.

But Kosovo leaders rejected such idea a long time ago, saying that the change of borders in the Balkans is a dangerous game.

Serbia’s President Tomislav Nikolic will also have a meeting on Monday with UN’s chief Ban Ki-moon, and the Kosovo talks issue is part of the agenda.

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