President of the Republic of Kosovo, Mrs. Atifete Jahjaga met today with the American Assistant Secretary for Europe, Mr. Philip Gordon
President Jahjaga and Mr. Gordon, in a cordial and friendly meeting, discussed a number of important issues related to strengthening of the ties between the two countries as well as the current developments in our country and the region.
President Jahjaga expressed her satisfaction with the fact that Republic of Kosovo has achieved the criteria required for the abolishment of the supervision of its independence and attainment of the full set of responsibilities as a sovereign and independent state.
She also stressed the engagement of the Kosovar institutions towards the situation within the three northern municipalities. She repeated that there is no separation or special status and that the only solution for the integration of the Serbian community within these municipalities is the full implementation of the package of President Ahtisaari.
President Jahjaga appreciated the role that the European mission for the Rule of Law –EULEX that operates in the Republic of Kosovo since the declaration of Independence. This mission must continue to remain in Kosovo in order to help the institutions of the country, mainly judiciary, prosecution and the police in carrying out their work. In the following days, we will find a way to continue the mandate of the EULEX mission, by offering a solution that is in harmony with the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo and acceptable to the European Union.
Assistant Secretary of the State, Gordon, emphasized the importance of the decision taken by the International Steering Group on bringing to the end the supervision of the independence of the Republic of Kosovo and qualified this as a Kosovo vote of confidence by the international community towards the progress reached by Kosovo in consolidation of its statehood. He also added that USA will continue to support Kosovo on its road towards European Integrations. Mr. Gordon re-emphasized the USA standpoint that Serbia must accept the new reality and normalise its relationship with Kosovo as a precondition for the advancement of its European Agenda.
After the meeting, President Jahjaga and Mr. Gordon issued a statement for
the media, which we are posting below:
President Atifete Jahjaga: Meeting with the Assistant Secretary of the United States of America, Mr. Philip Gordon, was as usually a very fruitful and cordial.
Mr. Gordon transmitted the messages of the US Department of State on their support on Kosovo’s endeavours in strengthening of the democratic processes and for the Euro-Atlantic integrations.
I conferred my regards to the Secretary of State, Mrs. Hilary Clinton and to the President of the United States, Mr. Barrack Obama, and at the same time expressed my appreciation for the continuous support of the USA towards Kosovo.
Kosovo is a sovereign and independent country, with its territorial integrity and guaranteed sovereignty. It is a factor of peace and stability and it maintains good, even excellent relations with all of its neighbours. We wish to have such relations with Republic of Serbia as well, by accepting the reality and contributing to our journey towards integration into the European Union.
I informed Mr. Gordon that we fully support the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia that took place in Brussels with the facilitation of the European Union, aimed at improving the lives of citizens at both sides of the border. The agreements that were reached help the cooperation processes between our two countries and I am interested that we attain results and that the agreements are fully implemented so that we can continue the dialogue further all the way to the resolution of all issues in accordance with the European Standards.
We expressed our pleasure with the fact that Kosovo has fulfilled all the conditions that will enable her to conclude the supervision of its independence in September and to attain all the responsibilities, both internally and externally, as a sovereign and independent state.
I informed Mr. Gordon on the activities of the two councils that I established, the National Council on European Integration and especially the National Anti-Corruption Council, as a coordinative body aiming to find institutional solutions and achieve concrete results in our fight against the organised crime and corruption.
The future of the Republic of Kosovo is in becoming a member with the full rights of the European Union and NATO, a future that we wish for the other countries of the region as well.
I informed Mr. Gordon about the activities undertaken by the Kosovar institutions towards the three northern municipalities, under a complete agreement, that there will be no separation or a special status. The only solution is full application of the Ahtisaari package that has provided excellent results in the other municipalities, established by the decentralisation process.
Once again, I would like to thank the US Assistant Secretary, Mr .Philip Gordon for his continuous dedication to Kosovo, to peace and stability and understanding between all the Balkan countries and his engagement that all the countries of the region become members of the European Union and NATO.
Honourable journalists and honourable citizens of Kosovo, I would like to once again express my indignation regarding the gruesome murder that occurred in the village of Talinovc, Ferizaj Municipality. This criminal act aims to stop the return process, process that I as the President and all the Institutions of Kosovo are determined to bring to a success.
Assistant Secretary Gordon: Thank you President Jahjaga for such a warm welcome. I have the pleasure to be in Prishtina again and to meet with you.
I think that this is my fifth visit to Kosovo in the last three years, since I have become the assistant secretary. This visit is being undertaken at a very emotional moment, when the international community has agreed to end the supervision of Kosovo’s independence.
I had the opportunity to congratulate the President, and would like to take the opportunity to congratulate the people of Kosovo on this important step ahead. As I said to the President, this really is a confirmation of the trust on this country and a signal that the international community really believes that Kosovo has achieved great progress in the international plan since your independence.
I also conferred to the President greetings from Secretary Clinton and President Obama, who admire her leadership and progress that Kosovo has achieved.
We also spoke about regional developments, and as you all know, I have just arrived from the summit held in Dubrovnik, Croatia, few days ago, where we had a good opportunity to meet with a considerable number of leaders from the region, and where it was really nice to see Kosovo in full representation, through its Prime minister, and in taking part in important discussions.
I just arrived here from Belgrade, where I had the opportunity to meet with the newly elected President Nikolic and with other leaders, and had the opportunity to express to Belgrade the message which I repeated here as well, which says that United States will continue to strongly support Kosovo’s Sovereignty and its territorial independence and that we believe that when the new Government is formed, all agreements reached through the dialogue must be implemented and dialogue must continue in any form necessary to achieve practical agreements that would improve the lives of citizens on both sides of the border, an issue on which we shall be focusing in the coming weeks, months and years.
I reiterate that we strongly support Kosovo’s aspirations towards EU, as we support Serbia’s aspiration towards EU. We hope that Serbia stays on the course towards the EU membership and I think that our European colleagues have made it clear in their statement that normal relations with Kosovo are a requirement. I have repeated it in Belgrade and I am repeating it here, Serbia at the end must accept the reality of Kosovo as a democratic and sovereign country, and that we will do all that is necessary to support these relations between the two states.
I was encouraged to hear from Madam President, as I did from the Prime minister in Dubrovnik, about Prishtina’s plans to increase the attention towards the community living in Northern Kosovo- as a key component in ensuring all the citizens of this country that this is their country and that they are safe here. I understand that the Administrative Office for the North of Mitrovica will be opened soon and I believe this to be a positive step ahead and I believe that it will be seen as a sign of the governments will to attention and to offer good services to all its citizens.
As the President said before me, I would also like to say that I also condemn the acts of those who intend to prevent this mutual respect and the wish of the most of the Serbian, Albanian and other citizens to live in peace and safety.
We condemn the tragic murder of the couple that had returned to Kosovo and we await to see that all attempts are being made to find the perpetrator(s) and that they are brought to face the justice system.
I also congratulated the President on her efforts to advance in our common goals, that include the fight against corruption, a message that we deliver to all the countries in the region and their institutions. These are important attempts, and we salute the activities that you have undertaken in this direction.
At the end, I would like to say that we have followed the decisions that Constitutional Court has reached these last weeks. It is something that is of great importance to us, and my only comment to this is the same as that of the President, that decisions of the court must be respected. We value the leadership that Madam President has made. We know that she is dedicated to the rule of law and adherence to the Constitution. We believe that this President, and I believe that I can speak for my President, Obama and State Secretary Clinton, is a very positive face for this country in the last 15 months, in international arena and in the region and in her leadership of the country and we will continue to work with her during her mandate.
Once again, thank you for a very warm welcome; I am always very happy here.