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No to EU mission after UNMIK

Prishtina, 28 April 2004 - The Kosovar daily "Epoka e Re" brings opinions of Kosovo political leadership regarding a possibility to replace the UN mission in Kosovo with an EU mission. According to a theory launched by international experts, EU should have an increased presence in Kosovo in a supervisory role whereas UNMIK should finish its mission and leave KFOR behind to guarantee security. Some diplomatic circles have also opened the discussion on an EU administration in Kosovo, whereby the EU would enjoy an unlimited mandate.

Mimoza Kusari, spokesperson of the Kosovo Government says, "If an increased presence of the EU is discussed, that should be in terms of stimulating investments, increasing stability in Kosovo and generating new jobs. EU has proven to be unsuccessful in the administration of the fourth pillar which is responsible for economic development and it is known in what condition this development is. The replacement of one mission with another cannot be effective."

"We do not accept any new mission in the role of the administrator in Kosovo. What Kosovo needs is an adviser responsible for greater support of the EU in the overall development of Kosovo" stated for "Epoka e Re" Bujar Dugolli from AAK.

German Bundestag has also increased its interest for Kosovo. One of its members, Rainer Stinner has presented the possibility for a new decision of the UN Security Council through which the EU would take over the sovereignty in Kosovo for an unlimited period. "The EU should have the competencies for foreign policy and defence until Kosovars under European leadership would gradually take over the internal responsibilities and economic reconstruction" Stinner is quoted to have said before the German Bundestag.

Kosovo political leaders are in favour of putting an end to the UN mission but they are not in favour of the mission being taken over by the EU or the Contact Group. Kosovars do not need a second administration, as this would indefinitely prolong resolution of Kosovo's final status while the Kosovo leadership would continue to have a secondary role in the decision making process.

Zoepel: Kosovo’s independence is acceptable
Meanwhile "Koha Ditore" reports that Christoph Zoepel, former secretary of state in the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has called for a bigger role of the European Union in Kosovo. "The EU must prove that it is capable of taking full responsibility in South-East Europe and give the US the chance to withdraw," he added.

Zoepel reportedly said that the independence of Kosovo was acceptable, but at the condition of decentralization, which according to him, would give greater rights to Serbs and other minorities.

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