News / Europe

UN Urges Serbia-Kosovo Talks

Top United Nations official in Kosovo Farid Zarif speaks to AP in front of the UN Headquarters in Kosovo Polje, Kosovo, March 23, 2012.
Top United Nations official in Kosovo Farid Zarif speaks to AP in front of the UN Headquarters in Kosovo Polje, Kosovo, March 23, 2012.
Larry Freund
NEW YORK  — The top United Nations diplomat for Kosovo, Farid Zarif, called on the U.N. Security Council Tuesday to press Serbia and Kosovo to take a bold approach to their talks. The prime ministers of both countries said they are ready to resume negotiations, which have been suspended.  
 
Warning against complacency during a period of relative stability in Kosovo, Zarif told the Security Council that a more active and deliberate political international engagement with Serbia and Kosovo is needed very soon.

“I wish to appeal once again to the members of this august council to positively apply their authority and influence in order to assist and encourage the parties toward a more creative, bold and forward-looking approach to negotiations, based on mutual compromise and respect,” said Zarif.

Kosovo, which is largely composed of ethnic Albanians, broke away from Serbia, declaring its independence in 2008. Kosovo and Serbia have held talks sponsored by the European Union and have reached a number of agreements but only some of them have been implemented. U.N. envoy Zarif called for a full faith commitment to the dialogue, including what he termed "expeditious implementation" of the agreements.

Serbia’s prime minister, Ivica Dacic, in remarks to the Security Council, repeated his earlier statements that Serbia will never recognize what he described as the unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian authorities. But he said Serbia is prepared to continue talks with Kosovo, which were put on hold while Serbia held parliamentary elections.

“While the technical dialogue should continue, it is not a panacea," said Dacic. "Serbia is ready for high-level talks. Negotiations on all outstanding issues cannot be avoided.”

The Serbian prime minister said his government is ready to engage in good faith at all levels in order to achieve a mutually-acceptable, comprehensive solution on the final status of Kosovo.

The prime minister of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, said his government is against any change in its border with Serbia, but is ready to find the best solution on how to integrate Kosovo’s Serbian community with the rest of the country. Mr. Thaci spoke through an interpreter.

“Normalization of relations with Serbia is our priority," said Thaci. "We are aware that the lack of normal relations and border demarcation between Kosovo and Serbia is a major impediment to stability, security and prosperity throughout the Balkans.”

Kosovo’s prime minister said that although he is dedicated to dialogue with Serbia at any moment, Kosovo’s territorial integrity will never be put into question.

Speaking for the United States, Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo said Washington hopes to see a resumption of the Serbia-Kosovo dialogue now that a new government is in place in Belgrade.

“This includes implementing agreements previously reached, including in integrated borders management," said DiCarlo. "We welcome the commitments today of both prime ministers to pursue constructive engagement through this mechanism.”

The U.N. Security Council adjourned its meeting on Kosovo without taking any immediate action.

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid