Allow me to thank Mr. Vuk Jeremić, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia, Mr. Skender Hyseni, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo, for their presence and their statements. I commend the work of Mr. Lamberto Zannier, Special Representative of the Secretary-General, and that of all the members of his Mission.
More than two years since its declaration of independence, Kosovo continues to make progress, stabilize its institutions and demonstrate its resolve to meet European standards. An increasing number of States are joining those that have already recognized Kosovo’s independence. Such recognitions, 68 to date, of which 22 are members of the European Union, help the young State to strengthen and take its place on the international scene.
Kosovo’s status has already been the subject of endless negotiations under various auspices. Such negotiations, which have explored all possible avenues, have made clear the impossibility of reaching a mutually acceptable compromise. In that context, independence, which is the expression of the will of the great majority of the Kosovar people, was the only solution. That is an undeniable and irrevocable fact.
- As the Secretary-General notes in his report (S/2010/169), the security situation on the ground has improved, with a decrease in incidents during the reporting period. We welcome that, but any incident — be it a case of common crime or inter-communal violence and regardless of whether it targets Albanians or Serbs — is unacceptable. The Kosovo authorities, supported by the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo, must therefore prosecute the perpetrators of such crimes and step up efforts in that area.
- Regional cooperation is also growing owing to calmer dialogue between political leaders and civil society throughout the Western Balkans. In that regard, we call on Serbian and Kosovo leaders to take advantage of opportunities to participate jointly in regional meetings.
While the future presence of Serbia and Kosovo in the European Union is, in our view, assured, it is equally clear that it cannot come about until both countries have taken the paths to dialogue and calmer neighbourliness and have learned the lessons of a reality that transcends vain and dangerous rhetoric.
As our Foreign Minister and the European Minister for Foreign Affairs have pointed out, that is not a condition, but a political necessity.
Kosovo must focus on its basic priorities and to continue to make progress on the rule of law and good governance. We also call on the Kosovo Government to do its utmost for those belonging to national minorities. Such twofold efforts will enable Kosovo to advance on the path towards membership of the European Union.
France will continue to give the situation in Kosovo the highest priority and to promote, to the best of its ability, dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo and their mutual European rapprochement.