It is Kosovo’s institutions that decide on behalf of Prishtina

Republic of Kosovo’s President, Dr. Fatmir Sejdiu, and Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi stated today that it is only the legitimate institutions of the Republic of Kosovo that can take decisions on behalf of Prishtina. They made these comments following a meeting with the Chief of EULEX, Mr. Yves de Kermabon, where the main topic of discussion was the protocol on police cooperation with Serbia, proposed by EULEX.

“We had another regular meeting with the Head of EULEX in Kosovo, Mr. Yves de Kermabon, with whom we discussed important issues that Kosovo is going through and, of course, the special cooperation that we have with EULEX in the support that we are receiving and which is aimed at meeting expectations of our citizens and making Kosovo an advanced democracy that belongs to all its citizens, regardless of their ethnic background. In this framework, we also expressed our position that the Republic of Kosovo has acknowledged that the regional cooperation in the all the fields is a policy that has been provided by all the major legal documents of our country” – President Sejdiu said after the meeting.

“We – he added – “welcome and, in fact, we insist in the inclusion of Kosovo in any initiative for regional cooperation. In this spirit, Kosovo is ready to cooperate with all its neighbours in different fields, including the fight against organised crime and cross-border criminal activities. To this effect, we will continue to cooperate with EULEX, ICO and international presence in Kosovo in general, so as we can find most efficient forms of regional cooperation by always giving a due consideration to Kosovo’s vital interests, the independence of the Republic of Kosovo and the authority of Republic of Kosovo institutions.

“Me, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs have an excellent cooperation with Mr. Kermabon and Mr. Feith and we will maintain this cooperation in the future, for it is in the mutual interest of Kosovo and all its supporters and contributes to our initiatives and steps that we will have to undertake in the crucial processes of integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions, which remains a permanent and unalterable objective of our country” - President Sejdiu said.

“One of issues discussed at the meeting was also the document i.e. the protocol on which we apparently maintain conflicting positions. Our position is clear: we will retain a close cooperation in every process, but we will also retain our commitment to upholding what Kosovo has adopted as a sovereign and an independent country – its constitution and legislation, of course, with the assistance of the international community” – President Sejdiu said, asked about the protocol of cooperation.
“We strongly oppose any idea for using or keeping the parallel structures alive, which damage, as a matter of fact, the Serb community itself, for they keep it a hostage of illusions about processes that we have left behind. However, we will make the best possible offer to those citizens who are still in doubt for developing Kosovo, for involving themselves in processes of integration and for joining our journey towards a joint future” – he said.

On the other hand, Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi said that the institutions of the Republic of Kosovo reaffirmed their full commitment to upholding Republic of Kosovo’s Constitution and President Ahtisaari’s Proposal in cooperating with all the countries of the region, for, he maintained, this contributes to peace and stability, regional cooperation and European perspective.

We will work closely with representatives of EULEX and ICO and take their advices and recommendations into consideration. At the same time, we maintain our commitment to being a part of any positive initiative in the region, by taking decisions as institutions of Republic of Kosovo, by fully respecting the Constitution of Kosovo and by fully observing the will of Kosovo citizens. We will keep our pace in our engagements as institutions of our country and we will continue to work closely with EULEX, ICO and all other relevant international stakeholders in Kosovo” – Thaçi said, calling today’s meeting “fruitful and enlightening”.

“From the beginning, we were in favour of a good cooperation with all the countries of the region, such as Macedonia, Albania and Montenegro, which have also recognised Kosovo as an independent, sovereign and democratic country. A progress was made in this regard. We have excellent relations with these countries. Of course, the Republic of Kosovo was willing to have good relations with our other neighbour Serbia too, but Belgrade’s will was and is still missing. Belgrade shall never be given a room to exercise its authority in the territory of the Republic of Kosovo, through any mechanism whatsoever, be it national or international” – Thaçi affirmed.

“It is Republic of Kosovo’s institutions who decide on behalf of Prishtina, but a clear distinction should be made here between the idea that emerged from EULEX for new relations with Belgrade and the cooperation that we have here in Prishtina. The President of the Republic of Kosovo also mentioned that the position of the Republic of Kosovo, the position of Prishtina, is very clear. It is legitimate institutions of the Republic of Kosovo that decide on behalf of Prishtina” – Prime Minister Thaçi emphasized.

On the other hand, the Head of EULEX-it, Mr. Yves de Kermabon, said that this was the first meeting and that, despite divergent positions, he would still pursue an approximation of positions with Prishtina.

“EULEX can not and will not sign any protocolary agreement on behalf of Kosovo” – Yves de Kermabon said. He also said that he wanted to assure the Kosovars that this cooperation agreement has nothing to do with the United Nations six-point plan, which has already been turned down by the institutions of the Republic of Kosovo. He maintained that the protocol will help fight crime and smuggling and involves cooperation between EULEX and Serb Police.