Deputy U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Rosemary A. DiCarlo today said Kosovo and the Balkan region are now on the threshold of fulfilling their Euro-Atlantic aspirations.
At a Security Council Debate on Kosovo and UNMIK, Ms. DiCarlo
said the international community has invested extraordinary time and resources to maintaining peace and security in Kosovo and the Balkan region.
“Despite recent violence caused by the acts of a few extremists, the United States remains optimistic that Kosovo and Serbia can eventually resolve their differences, and that Kosovo will continue to develop the successful institutions of a democratic nation.” -Ms. DiCarlo
She said the Council has affirmed that Kosovo is a single customs space. She added that it is fully in accordance with Security Council Resolution 1244 and was a key point in the Secretary General’s November 2008 report on UNMIK, a report that the Council welcomed in its presidential statement of November 26, 2008.
“Kosovo therefore has the right to control its borders and uphold rule of law in full cooperation with the international community. It cannot be considered unilateral action for Kosovo to enforce its customs controls. Moreover, Kosovo also coordinated its activities with the international community, including KFOR and EULEX.” -Ms. DiCarlo
She noted that the United States remains deeply concerned by the violence in northern Kosovo during recent months, including: the murder of a Kosovo Police officer on July 26th; attacks on nine KFOR soldiers on September 27th; injuries to 21 KFOR soldiers on November 23rd to 24th; and on November 25th injuries to over 25 KFOR officers, including two wounded by gunfire while attempting to remove roadblocks that obstruct freedom of movement.
She highlighted that it is a serious matter that these incidents occurred while Serbian security structures remain illegally deployed in these areas. She added that members of the Council should be unequivocal in condemning the violence perpetrated against KFOR and in supporting the mission.
She noted that the United States fully supports Ambassador Clint Williamson in his new role as lead prosecutor for the international Special Investigative Task Force.
She stressed that the region will decide whether their future will be characterized by deadlock and strife or dialogue and cooperation.
“In the short term, however, the international community must ensure that physical and political barriers do not prevent them from attaining their goals and obtaining their rights.” -Ms. DiCarlo