The Acting President of the Republic of Kosovo and President of the Assembly of Kosovo Dr. Jakup Krasniqi received today the new Head of EULEX-it, Mr. Xavier Bout de Marnhac.

Wishing Mr. de Marnhac welcome, Mr. Krasniqi said that he [Mr. De Marnac] has “ arrived in Kosovo at a new and very important time, at a time when EULEX has, somehow, changed its status, owing to the fact that the opinion of the International Court of Justice has made EULEX non-neutral to the status and at a time when we are organizing early elections and Belgrade officials are calling on Kosovo Serbs to participate in the general elections for the new Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo”.

“Both EULEX and Kosovo have managed to contribute to rule of law and order, so Mr. de Marnhac and EULEX will find it easier to accomplish their mandates, which have also been provided by the Constitution and the laws that the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo has adopted”, Mr. Krasniqi emphasized.

“I strongly believe in cooperation with EULEX under the leadership of de Marnhac, who has good knowledge of situation in Kosovo, as he was a KFOR Commander and has new facilities to ensure implementation of EULEX mandate in the three fields – rule of law, judiciary and Kosovo customs and security”, Mr. Krasniqi pointed out.

“This is my first visit on my first day as new Head of Mission. I just want to say, first of all, that the Head of Mission has changed, but the mission remains the same, objectives remain the same”, said, on the other hand, the new Head of EULEX, Mr. Xavier Bout de Marnhac.

“I am very glad that I had the opportunity today to meet the President of Parliament and the Acting President of Kosovo. We made a quick overview of the current developments and the situation. I reassured the President of my dedication to cooperate fully and as much as possible with the Kosovo institutions in order to, as my predecessor did, promote rule of law and consolidate, as much as possible, rule of law here in Kosovo. Thank you, Mr. President, for this opportunity and I am looking forward to our next meetings”, Mr. de Marnhac added.

Asked if he would proceed with the same mode of engagement adopted by his predecessor and if any results would be achieved in the fight against corruption and organized crime during his mandate, Mr. de Marnhac said: “As a said, the mission remains the same. Obviously, personalities may be slightly different. Yves de Kermabon was a great leader, I think, for the mission. I have my own style, obviously, and this will be slowly more visible I guess for everybody. Yes, we are looking for results and, yes, there will be some results in the coming times”.

On the other hand, asked about the request for an interpretation as to whether acting as President and holding the position of the PDK Secretary constitutes a violation of law, the A/President Mr. Jakup Krasniqi replied: “I have made the request and I am waiting for an answer, though the Constitution clearly provides that an elected President must resign from all other functions. I am not an elected President, but I will respect the opinion of the Constitutional Court of Kosovo”.

Asked about the time when the date of early elections would be announced, Mr. Krasniqi said: “We have another meeting with political parties today and it is high time that we set two dates – the date for elections in the municipality of Rahovec and the date for early elections to be held on February. Exact dates will be announced today”.

“The Constitution stipulates the timeline. Elections must be held 40-45 days before the expiry of my constitutional mandate”, he said.