18 November 2008 - NATO PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY URGES CONTINUED COMMITMENT TO KOSOVO [press release]
The 54th Annual Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly meeting in Valencia on 14-18 November urged governments and parliaments of NATO member and partner countries to remain committed to securing peace and stability in Kosovo through the required international military and civilian presence. A resolution passed by the Plenary Session held on 18 November calls for a clear division of responsibility and effective co-ordination and co-operation mechanisms among all international institutions in Kosovo.
This includes overcoming remaining obstacles to the conclusion of a technical agreement between NATO’s Kosovo Force (KFOR) and the EU rule of law mission, EULEX. The resoluton calls for the prompt deployment of EULEX throughout Kosovo and for the full resourcing of its efforts to strengthen the rule of law.
The resolution seeks to foster the process of rebuilding mutual confidence between Belgrade and Pristina, as well as among ethnic groups in Kosovo by encouraging dialogue between the two capitals on the six issues identified in the UN Secretary-General’s June 2008 report: police, courts, customs, transportation and infrastructure, boundaries, and Serbian patrimony. It also encourages a more active and constructive dialogue between Pristina and Kosovo Serb representatives.
The resolution favours pragmatic solutions maintaining Kosovo as a single administrative unit and taking into account the legitimate concerns of local populations in Serb-majority areas. It supports the implementation of measures aimed at enhancing the protection of Kosovo Serbs and other minorities, including further decentralisation and a genuinely multiethnic Kosovo Police Service, and the creation of the conditions for the return of displaced persons to their homes.
The resolution favours continuing “to offer all countries of the region clear prospects of and sustained assistance with their full integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions and, in particular, to support actively Serbia’s renewed commitment and efforts towards Euro-Atlantic integration.”
The resoluton commends KFOR personnel “for their excellent performance in demanding conditions” and stresses “the ongoing need for a strong KFOR presence to maintain a safe and secure environment throughout Kosovo.”