Minister Hoxhaj: The duplicity of Serbia
Minister Hoxhaj addressed the Security Council by presenting the ongoing progress being marked in the Republic of Kosovo and the challenged Kosovo is facing at this stage.
Hoxhaj stated that the state-building process of Kosovo following its declaration of independence is a Kosovar, European and international success story.
The situation in three municipalities in northern Kosovo
As regards the situation in the north of Kosovo, Minister Enver Hoxhaj stated that Kosovo and its citizens are very worried when it concerns the three northern municipalities.
Hoxhaj stated that Serbia is violating UN Security Council Resolution 1244 by keeping police and illegal security structures in this part of Kosovo and that the situation is very tense and there are still barricades erected by these structures.
What we are facing in this part of Kosovo is not new to the region. In 1990s, police and security structured, led and financed by Serbia, had erected barricades in Croatia and Bosnia in almost the same manner as these illegal structures are doing in northern Kosovo, which are controlled, led and financed by Serbia.
Serbias agenda in this part of Kosovo is to maintain the status-quo and setting the ground for a frozen conflict and territorial partitioning. Due to this situation, our institutions were disabled to integrate Kosovo Serbs and implement Ahtisaari plan in this part of our country as we did with the rest of Kosovo. This is the only corner of Europe with no rule of law, with no democratic participation in institutions, said Kosovos minister of foreign affairs at the Security Council session.
Referring to the General Secretary report, according to which KFOR and EULEX are not allowed to act there pursuant to their mandates, Hoxhaj noted that Kosovos stability and the entire security architecture in the region depend from the situation in the north.
Allow me to show you an example: in the early morning of April 8th, a 38 old Kosovar Albanian father was murdered in his home from a blast and two of his four children were wounded. This took place in a mixed neighbourhood in northern Mitrovica, and this is not only an isolated act. The city of Mitrovica is not divided by river Ibar, but by fear. Through fear and threats, these security structures are expelling all non-Serbian communities from the north of Kosovo, Hoxhaj stated.
According to him, the position of the Government of Kosovo for this matter is very clear. Violence must stop and Serbia should withdraw its police, security and paramilitary units from northern Kosovo. Kosovo has always been a multiethnic society and will always remain so. As such, we oppose any idea of partition, border change or territory exchanges. For our government, the integration of 30,000 Kosovo Serbs in the north is very important and it should happen in the same way as with the 100,000 Kosovo Serbs who are integrated in the other parts of Kosovo. In this sense, the Government of the Republic of Kosovo is determined for an internal dialogue with Serbians in the municipalities in northern Kosovo with the intention of integrating this community in democratic institutions and helping it to shape an agenda of social and economic development in this part of Kosovo, stated Minister Hoxhaj.
Technical Dialogue between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia
As regards the technical dialogue between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia, Hoxhaj spoke of the agreements reached on regional cooperation and integrated border management (IBM) and the agreement for Kosovos regional representation and cooperation.
Based on this agreement, Kosovo will now attend all these forums as independent and will speak on its own behalf as an equal partner with other participating countries. This envisions that Kosovo should be signing new agreements and can apply in various regional organizations, said Hoxhaj, adding that the integrated border management (IBM) agreement includes a technical protocol the implementation of which provides a European solution to cross-border issues between the states.
Hoxhaj stated that the dialogue has seen a good progress in reaching these agreements and those are legal bilateral agreements between two independent countries.
However, the credibility of the entire dialogue process is at jeopardy. Agreements are worthless if they only remain in paper and not implemented on the ground. Besides, the majority of them have not been put to practice at all, i.e. Serbia has not signed and implemented the technical protocol in implementing integrated border management leaving intentionally the option of partitioning the northern part of Kosovo open. On the other hand, Serbia has accepted the agreement for Kosovos representation in regional forums (conferences) but it continues to boycott every meeting where Kosovo is present and insists in duties that have not been envisioned in the agreement, noted Hoxhaj at the UN Security Council session.
The Foreign Minister said that some of the agreements have only been implemented partially, such as the free movement and trade agreement. The non-implementation of the agreements is directly connected to road blocks in Kosovo northern part as well as the systematic arrests of Kosovo citizens by Serbian authorities. Without any reason, more than ten Kosovo citizens have been arrested last two months by Serbian authorities as they were transiting through Serbia to or from Kosovo, and the same were released later on, stated Hoxhaj.
He reemphasized that Kosovo has entered this dialogue with good intentions and has played an extremely important role in achieving and implementing agreements. Meanwhile, referring to the EU decision to grant Serbia the candidate status because of the agreements reached in this technical dialogue, Hoxhaj states that it is regrettable that Serbia has so far displayed no good will to implements agreements.
In addition, Serbia still keeps the illegal criminal structures of security and police in the territory of Kosovo which is a blatant violation of European Union values and is a threat to regional and international peace and stability. In the last three months, we have seen the two faces of Serbia: Serbia which acts as a pro-European country in its relations with Belgrade, and Serbia which acts in an anti-European manner in relations with Kosovo.
Kosovos Foreign Affairs Minister, Enver Hoxhaj, concluded his remarks at the UN Security Council session by stating that the main goal of the institutions and of the people of Kosovo is the integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions.