I thank Mr. Vuk Jeremić, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Serbia, and Mr. Enver Hoxhaj, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kosovo, for joining us today. I also welcome the Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Farid Zarif, and thank the Secretary-General for his report (S/2011/514).
I should like to make three points. Northern Kosovo experienced tensions and violence a few weeks, which was addressed in an emergency meeting of the Security Council. Tensions have abated, but such incidents remind us that the international community must remain very alert and of the importance of dialogue between the parties. In that respect, I welcome the activities of the Kosovo Force and the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) that helped to restore calm and the free movement of people through sensitive border crossings between Serbia and Kosovo. Hasty or unilateral actions should be avoided while a common solution is sought through dialogue. There is no place for violence, which should be firmly condemned by the political authorities on both sides, who must take all measures necessary to maintain the calm.
Dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo in the context of the European Union has already borne fruit, which must now be implemented. The next meeting will take place in several days. We support this process and call on Serbia and Kosovo to return to the negotiating table in a constructive spirit. We hope that these discussions, in addition to improving the daily lives of the population, will strengthen trust between the parties and contribute to the European prospects of both countries, which must demonstrate a spirit of compromise and creativity.
Such dialogue requires a gradual increase of mutual trust. In this respect, we commend the deployment by the European Union of a task force of magistrates and investigators to look into allegations of trafficking in human organs set out in the report of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe that was made public in 2010. The task force’s activities will be based on the important work already undertaken by EULEX in the framework of a preliminary investigation that began on 27 January.
The willingness of the Serbian and Albanian authorities of Kosovo to cooperate fully with EULEX should be stressed. We call on all States concerned to continue their cooperation with the Mission. The investigation should be undertaken in an atmosphere of calm and a spirit of dialogue, and not should not be exploited for ulterior motives.
The international presence remains a motor of stabilization. The European Union, the United Nations and NATO are implementing their respective mandates to move Kosovo towards sustainable stability and rule of law. France hails the work of Mr. Lamberto Zannier as Head of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo for some three years.
EULEX plays a crucial in helping the Kosovo authorities to fight corruption and organized crime, although it is the primary responsibility of Governments to adopt relevant policies. The European Union is also preparing to strengthen its presence with the appointment of a single representative who will act both as special representative of the European Union and as head of its Kosovo office, and will shortly assume his functions.
France stands with Kosovo and all States of the region in helping to move them towards European standards and European Union membership.
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