Wien, 24. January 2012 Press release

Waldner: „End of Kosovo’s monitored independence in sight“

State Secretary Waldner at the meeting of the International Steering Group for Kosovo in Vienna

Vienna, 24 January 2012 - „The end of Kosovo’s monitored independence is in sight“, said State Secretary Wolfgang Waldner at today’s conference of the International Steering Group (ISG) for Kosovo in the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs in Vienna.

The conference, which was attended by the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, and the EU Minister of the Republic of Kosovo as well as by high-ranking representatives from the capitals of the 25 ISG member states, will discuss the level of implementation of the Ahtisaari plan and the future of the international office.

According to Waldner, the implementation of this plan is almost completed, bringing the Republic of Kosovo a step closer to terminating the monitoring of its independence by the international community. „Austria has been a reliable supporter and partner of the Ahtisaari plan, the International Steering Group, and Kosovo, which became independent in 2008. What was initiated here in Vienna could also come to a successful conclusion here. This proves that the international community is willing and able to terminate its monitoring missions once the requirements are met by fulfilling the conditions set out. This should also send out a signal for others in the region and must provide an incentive for a more constructive cooperation“, said State Secretary Wolfgang Waldner.

In this context, the State Secretary also pointed out to the measures still to be implemented and reform steps to be introduced by the Kosovar Government until the termination of the mandate of the International Civilian Office in Kosovo, especially those relating to the sustainable protection of the rights and interests of the Serbian minority.

On the sidelines of the conference, State Secretary Wolfgang Waldner had a bilateral meeting with the Kosovar Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj. „Europe’s youngest state has undergone a remarkable development in recent years. Despite all difficulties, the normalisation process with Serbia is progressing, and Kosovo, is now also gradually approaching the European Union. Austria shall continue to undertake everything in its power to support the Kosovar Government in its reform programs and on its path to Europe“, Waldner concluded.

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