12 May 2011 - Security Council - Kosovo - Statement by Mr Gérard Araud, President of the Security Council
I thank the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Serbia and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kosovo for their presence and their statements. I also thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and welcome the work that he and the staff of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo are carrying out in Kosovo.
I will highlight three points.
First, a special effort should be made to strengthen institutions and the fight against corruption and organized crime. As recalled by Mr. Zannier, Kosovo has a new Government that must face these challenges, and we must help them. That is why France is working alongside Kosovo and the other States of the region to bring them closer to European standards, particularly in the area of the rule of law. We express our full support for the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX), which is doing outstanding work.
Secondly, dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo, under the auspices of the European Union, is of crucial importance. Several meetings have already been held and concrete subjects have been discussed. We hope that those discussions, aside from their potential benefits for the population.s daily life, will build confidence between the parties. It is up to the two States to show a spirit of compromise and creativity. The United Nations is informed on a regular basis and will be invited to participate when necessary.
Lastly, reconciliation and justice go hand in hand. That is the logic of the European project. In that light, we take very seriously the allegations contained in the report of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, submitted in late 2010. They should be the subject of a methodical and dispassionate investigation. EULEX opened a preliminary investigation at the end of January to shed some light on the allegations. The investigating team held several meetings outside of Kosovo, in Albania and in Serbia. The Albanian authorities committed to providing their cooperation. EULEX has an operational team that is dedicated to witness protection, respects European standards and may be reinforced. An international, impartial investigation is thus under way. We call on all States concerned to cooperate with EULEX.
France will continue to support the process of rapprochement for Kosovo and entire Western Balkans with Europe.