27 February 2017 - Future of Kosovo is played out within framework of dialogue between Belgrade & Pristina [fr]
Kosovo - Statement by Mrs. Anne Gueguen, Political Advisor to the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 27 February 2017
I would add my thanks to those expressed by other members of the Security Council to the Special Representative of the Secretary General, Mr. Zahir Tanin, as well as to the President of Serbia, Mr. Tomislav Nikolić, and to the Ambassador of Kosovo, Ms. Vlora Çitaku.
I should like to begin my statement by recalling once again France’s wish to revise the frequency with which the Security Council reviews the situation in Kosovo. Given that the Council is facing an increasingly burdensome workload, there no longer appears to be any justification for maintaining quarterly briefings on the question of Kosovo, whose situation is in no way comparable to crises for which the Council’s intensive commitment is crucial.
We believe also that the positive developments we have seen in recent years in Kosovo in terms of strengthening institutions justify our desire to continue to refocus the activities of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo and to ensure their coordination with the other international actors present in Kosovo. We call once again on the Secretary- General to make recommendations on this issue in the framework of his next report.
France is convinced that the future of Kosovo can no longer be seen as a priority in the Council, but, rather, within the framework of a political dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, led by the European Union.
It is therefore important in this regard for the parties to demonstrate a proactive commitment at the highest level. We expect that all of the agreements reached will be implemented as swiftly as possible, including as concerns the establishment of a community association of Serb-majority municipalities, which is a key element of the dialogue. We therefore urge the Kosovo and Serbian authorities to step up their efforts, particularly on this latter issue, in order to achieve more concrete outcomes in the months to come. This is an issue that we will follow very closely.
We are deeply concerned about the tensions that we have seen in recent months on the ground as well as by the regrettable provocations that have fuelled them. We expect all actors to show responsibility and restraint. The agreement reached on the demolition of the wall in Mitrovica is in this respect a positive development. The normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina remains, generally speaking, a prerequisite for their progress on the path to European rapprochement, which was once again encouraged at the Paris-Balkans 2016 summit, held on 4 July last.
The efforts under way to strengthen the rule of law in Kosovo must remain a priority and include fighting radicalization in all its forms. We therefore welcome the unconditional commitment of Kosovo in this regard, both locally and within the international coalition against Da’esh.
France will also continue to provide its support to the efforts undertaken by the authorities of Kosovo in favour of international recognition of their State.
Lastly, I would like to conclude my statement by pointing out that the action under way in France against Mr. Ramush Haradinaj is a part of a judicial proceeding initiated on the basis of an arrest warrant issued by INTERPOL. This order was carried out as a matter of routine, in keeping with our international commitments. It does not have a political dimension and does not alter in any way the relation of trust that we traditionally have with Kosovo or our support for reconciliation in the region and the implementation of a dialogue between Belgium and Pristina.