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Consiglio di Sicurezza – Briefing sulla situazione in Kosovo

Discorso pronunciato dall’Ambasciatore Sebastiano Cardi, Rappresentante Permanente dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite e Presidente del Consiglio di Sicurezza, al Briefing in Consiglio di Sicurezza sulla situazione in Kosovo / UNMIK —

I would like to thank the SRSG Tanin for his briefing and Minister Dacic and Ambassador Citaku for their constructive statements.

Italy is bound by long standing ties of friendship to Kosovo and Serbia and is also a long-standing supporter of the path Western Balkans’ Countries have chosen towards the European Union. European integration is the key for the long-lasting peace and development of the entire region. Italy will continue to promote regional integration, building upon the outcomes of the Summit on Western Balkans held in Trieste last July under our Presidency of the Berlin Process.

The normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina remains crucial. We praise Belgrade and Pristina for resuming the dialogue facilitated by the EU at Presidential level and welcome their resolve to open a new phase of it. We call upon both parties to take advantage of this window of opportunity to steadily move towards the normalization of their relations.

We also welcome the decision of the Serbian President to open an internal dialogue, with the aim of defining an overall comprehensive and widely shared policy towards Kosovo by involving all potential stakeholders.

We welcome the formation of a new Government in Pristina and look forward to a free and fair conduct of the run-off Municipal elections on 19 November. We call upon the new Government to intensify its efforts to move forward with the reforms, which are so much needed by the Country. The ratification of the Agreement on border demarcation with Montenegro and the implementation of the Association/Community of Serb-majority Municipalities are among the most urgent measures to be taken. Equally, rule of law, justice and fight against corruption should remain high in the Government’s agenda. We also underscore the importance for all parties to ensure full cooperation with the Specialist Chambers.

We praise and support the work of UNMIK and EULEX and we confirm our contribution to KFOR.

Italy will continue to assist Kosovo, being aware of the many challenges that are still to be confronted but also taking into account the progress made during these years. In this perspective, we stand ready to discuss a way forward for the United Nations’ presence in the Country, which should be adjusted to the present needs, in coordination with the other international actors involved and in line with the wider review of peacekeeping operations. We look forward to the Secretary-General’s recommendations in this regard. We are also open to an extension of his reporting period, in line with the evolution of the situation on the ground.

I conclude by calling on both parties to refrain from a rhetoric rooted in the past and to focus their energy and attention on the future of their relations. Italy, at the international and bilateral level, as well as a member of the EU, will continue to do its part to facilitate dialogue and build mutual trust.