UK Foreign Minister Hopeful for Kosovo

05 November 2008 Pristina – The British Foreign Secretary David Miliband says Kosovo is becoming a better place for all living there and pledged strong commitment to the EU’s new law-and-order mission, EULEX.

“Your Constitution clearly reveals that all communities should live together in the newest country. The fact that your Parliament is home to deputies other than Albanian is an indication of this fact,” said Miliband in an address to Kosovo’s Parliament.

While Miliband acknowledged that Kosovo faces great responsibilities and challenges in building its future, he revealed Kosovo is not alone.

“You are not alone. The international community is here to help you. EULEX will be functional all over Kosovo in order to build a good future for Kosovo’s citizens,” he pledged.

Serbia argues that both EULEX and the outgoing United Nations mission’s ‘reconfiguration’ (the term used to describe the UN’s preparations to leave Kosovo and make way for EULEX) contravenes international law since under the UN Security Council Resolution 1244, passed in 1999 at the end of the conflict between Serb forces and Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian majority, only the UN can administer Kosovo on Serbia’s behalf.

The UN has administered Kosovo since 1999.

To meet Belgrade’s complaints, EULEX, may have to operate under a UN umbrella in the north and assume a “neutral” stance towards Kosovo’s independence. 

Meanwhile Miliband advised Kosovo to cooperate with the International Monetary Fund and to consolidate its budget which he said will bring economic development.

“The rule of law and the fight against the corruption is to enhance foreign investment in your country,” he argued.

“This is your state. You have to work for it and there is no alternative way of governing Kosovo,” said Miliband.

Talking about the recognitions of Kosovo’s independence, Miliband claimed Kosovo’s foreign policy should follow European values.

“You have to build bridges of communication with your neighbours, including Serbia,” he urged.

Kosovo’s speaker of parliament, Jakup Krasniqi, thanked Miliband for his speech and his contribution to state-building in Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia on February 17.

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