Summary: Summary Remarks: EUHR Solana and Kosovo President Sejdiu Joint Press Briefing (7 February 2007: Pristina)
The following is an edited summary of remarks to the press by President Fatmir SEJDIU, and Javier SOLANA, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), following their meeting in Pristina today.
Mr SOLANA met President SEJDIU during a visit to Pristina where he had talks with members of the Unity Team, led by President Sejdiu. He also met representatives of the political parties, the Serbian community, civil society and the Orthodox Church, as well as municipal leaders, KFOR Commander Lt. Gen. Roland Kather and UN Principal Deputy Special Representative Steven Schook.
President Fatmir Sejdiu: "I would like to inform you that we had a very good meeting with Mr Solana and the EU team or delegation, where we of course discussed the latest developments of the process of talks.
I would like to thank him for the strong support the EU has given to Kosovo and to the current process, as well as to Mr. Ahtisaari’s welcomed proposal.
We expect this support to have a further, strong impact towards a very quick finalization of the process, so that we can achieve our clear objective - Kosovo independence - and making it a state of all its citizens guaranteeing high standards even for the ethnic minorities that are part of Kosovo’s diversity, as well as a focused responsibility for the majority.
I would like to thank Mr. Solana again even for his personal engagement in the most important times for Kosovo, and the strong and important engagement to help Kosovo in other stages that will come for its development and its general perspective as well as the process of integration, especially keeping in mind the stage of focusing on an international civilian presence in Kosovo, where the EU has its special and most important role.
Mr Solana, please – ."
HR Solana: "Thank you very much, you can imagine the feeling I have here today. I don’t know how many times I have been in Pristina in the last period of time, but I can say that today is an important day. This is a very important visit. You are beginning to write the last page of a period of your history in order to begin to write a new one. And therefore, for me, it’s a pleasure to have the possibility to be here with you.
I’d like to say that the EU will support wholeheartedly the proposal of President Ahtisaari. President Ahtisaari, as you know, is the person who has been appointed by the Secretary General of the United Nations to lead this process. And we are going to help him, to sustain him, to work with him, in order to get this process to reach a constructive end.
I’d like to say that, as I said to the members of the Unity Team, of the Negotiating Team, at this moment I expect from the Kosovo institutions, and from the Kosovo people, that they live up to the responsibilities of this time: responsibility that has to be shown in several directions – in your behaviour, in your commitment, in your hard work.
Because, at the end of the day, you are going to construct something new. And to construct something new will require the engagement of the people, the engagement of the leaders, and hard work.
And also respect for the agreements that you will sign, whenever the moment comes to sign them. Respect for the minorities. Respect for human rights. And, to keep on moving towards a perspective, which - as you know - is what the EU is offering you, and that is, at the end of this journey, to have a closer and deeper relationship with the EU.
Let me say that the EU is ready to continue to work with you; to continue being engaged with you. That means economically, that means politically, that means on building the institutions, that means also in the security field.
Therefore, you can count on us to continue working with you and accompanying you. But I expect from you, as I said before, responsibility at this moment; responsibility, calm, and hard work.
Nothing will be done for you: you have to do it. And, therefore, hard work by the institutions, and good cooperation with and from the people, is absolutely essential at this point.
I would like to thank again the Negotiating Team, the President, who has led this part of the journey in a very intelligent manner, with a lot of common sense, and I hope that this will prevail: the common sense, the sense of responsibility, and hard work."
Question: "Is there a place for Kosovo as a new state within the EU? Do you support any further postponement of the period of consultation between Pristina and Belgrade? "
Answer, HR Solana: "Let me start with the second question. It is not for me to decide how long this process of intense consultations, that is going to start in the next days, is going to last. What I would like to have is engagement both from here, from Pristina, and from Belgrade, and I know that the engagement of President Ahtisaari is going to be sought. And you can have the security and the certainty that the EU is going to work in a constructive manner. But I insist: the responsibility for leading this process is in the hands of President Ahtisaari.
Now, as far as bilateral relations between the EU and Kosovo are concerned, there is no doubt that they have to be wider, and they have to be deeper. We are going to assume all the responsibilities that fall to the international community and we will be willing to help in the field of law and order, of security, and in the economic field, working hand in hand with the authorities of Kosovo. That is as far as I can go today.
We are going to support President Ahtisaari. But we cannot substitute President Ahtisaari."
Question "In the meeting, have you discussed the rumours about a 10-day delay in the talks? Are you ready to accept it?"
Answer, President Sejdiu: "No, we didn’t. Absolutely not. We have no other information. We replied to Mr. Ahtisaari’s invitation, and we are communicating with him."
Question: "Is there any way to split the Ahtisaari plan in a technical and a political part "
Answer, HR Solana: "I do not think that it is in the mind of President Ahtisaari to separate any elements. This is a single, complete package, one package, not two packages.
What he is going to do, is to try, through this process of intense consultations, to finalize the complete package. It does not fall apart. It is a complete package that has been presented in a sequence temporarily, but that means that, in the end, it has to be one single package."