Kai Eide, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s special envoy tasked with assessing the implementation of standards in Kosovo, has wrapped up a visit to Pristina, that included meetings with President Ibrahim Rugova and other officials of the provisional government. In comments following the talks, he warned that much more must be done.
“I share many Western diplomats’ concern” over the level of progress in Kosovo,” Eide said during last week’s trip, urging Kosovo authorities to launch a fierce battle against corruption and organised crime.
“I said before that I was not happy. I am disappointed with some talks I have had here and I am disappointed with certain visits I have made in the region, but I was also disappointed when I visited Belgrade, because I want to see things moving forward,” the envoy said.
The return of refugees and displaced persons was one of the key topics on Eide’s agenda. After a meeting with Kosovo Minister for Return and Communities Slavisa Petkovic, Eide said he knew that many people want to return and should be encouraged to do so.
He said that it was very important that Kosovo government representatives were trying to get closer to those returning to the province. He praised Kosovo Prime Minister Bajram Kosumi’s attempt to establish a dialogue with them by visiting the places to which they should return. At the same time, the envoy said, it is important to set up a dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade.
Eide said that he could not discuss the final result of his report on the implementation of standards, which he will submit to Annan. The report will determine the UN Security Council’s decision on launching talks on Kosovo’s final status. Eide started his evaluation in early June and is to start putting together his report in September.
The commander of NATO’s south wing, US Admiral Harry Ulrich, was also in Kosovo during Eide’s visit. Ulrich said he had come to Pristina to assure the people and government that NATO favoured a peaceful and stable Kosovo.
In talks with Kosumi, Ulrich said that he was convinced KFOR was ready to realise its mission in Kosovo. For his part, Kosumi said that what had been achieved in Kosovo had largely been done by KFOR. He also stressed the government’s determination to create a free and democratic society, one striving for EU and NATO integration.