‘No Doubts’ on EULEX December Launch

Pristina – Brussels has no doubts that the EU’s law-and-order mission, EULEX, will be operational in December, says the spokeswoman for the bloc’s foreign policy chief Javier Solana.

“The dialogue between Belgrade and Brussels is continuing. At the beginning of this week, Solana asserted progress in negotiations between the European Union and Belgrade,” Christina Gallach told Serbian media.

She repeated Solana’s declaration that “EULEX will be based on the Joint Action document, which states that the mission will be based on Resolution 1244.”

Gallach said that the dialogue between Serbia and the EU concerning the EULEX settlement in Kosovo has made considerable progress. Other than that, she reported that Brussels is continuously negotiating with diplomats and experts from Belgrade on the issue.

“We are expecting that Belgrade will acknowledge the importance of EULEX’s deployment. This would be a positive development for Kosovo, Serbia and the region,” added Gallach.

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.
 
Serbia’s President Boris Tadic earlier this month said Belgrade would only agree to the mission if certain terms are met.
 
He would condition the European mission’s presence in Kosovo on a green light from the UN Security Council, ask the current United Nations Mission to retain its neutral stance towards the status of Serbia’s former province and, last but not least, call for plans to implement the blueprint for Kosovo’s independence devised by former UN envoy and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Martti Ahtisarri, to be dropped.

Meanwhile it has emerged that The EU mission in Kosovo, EULEX, will have to operate under a UN umbrella in the north and assume a “neutral” stance towards Kosovo’s independence, experts say.

This is the likely outcome of the UN Security Council meeting on November 7, when Lamberto Zannier, head of the UN mission in Kosovo, will report on developments.  
This will deepen Pristina’s fears of the ‘administrative partition’ of Kosovo.

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