Spindelegger on Kosovo: “The conflict can only be resolved at the negotiating table”
Foreign Minister concerned about violence along Kosovo-Serbia border
Vienna, 28 July 2011 – Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger expressed his concern about the tense situation in the conflict over the two border crossings in the north of Kosovo. “The latest outbreak of violence in northern Kosovo, which, among other things, caused the death of a Kosovar policeman, is completely unacceptable. Austria deplores this violence. I call upon the governments of the two countries to help bring about a de-escalation of the situation and re-establish peace and security,” said Spindelegger.
On Wednesday night, masked attackers using Molotov cocktails set ablaze the Jarinje border crossing, which has been under the control of Kosovo’s police as well as with international KFOR units and the EU’s EULEX rule of law mission for the last two days. Shots were fired at KFOR soldiers. The Austrian Foreign Ministry is watching the situation closely. Today, Secretary General Johannes Kyrle was personally informed about the latest events by NATO’s Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (DSACEUR), General Sir Richard Shirreff. Shirreff expressed his explicit thanks to Austria for its commitment within the KFOR peacekeeping forces, to which it provides 470 soldiers, the largest contingent of any non-NATO state.
“The decision-makers on both sides of the border must do everything possible to avoid further hostilities. Kosovo and Serbia cannot resolve their bilateral problems by means of mutual accusations, provocation and violence,” emphasised Spindelegger. “The progress achieved in the course of the past weeks within the framework of the dialogue coordinated by the EU must not be called into question. The governments in Belgrade and Pristina are called upon to take politics off the streets and return to the negotiating table without delay,” concluded Spindelegger.
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Federal Ministry for European
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