Vienna, 19 September 2013 - "The ambush and killing of a member of EULEX who had been deployed in the region to improve the lives of people there is an atrocious and cowardly crime. He is the first member of a civil EU mission to die after an attack. My condolences go out to the family members of the deceased", Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said. The first task now is to investigate the murder. Spindelegger: "We ask the people of Kosovo to pro-actively cooperate with the authorities to find the perpetrators as soon as possible. However, this cruel act of violence will not stop us from granting further support to the process of normalisation and reconciliation in Kosovo and the entire region."
"In November, the first local elections will be held in the country, and the situation in Kosovo is particularly critical and tense now in the run-up period. I call upon both sides and the political leadership in Kosovo and Serbia to contribute to de-escalation so that the elections can take place as planned and on no account to put at risk the success achieved in negotiations so far. The region will only make progress on its course towards Europe if the agreed compromises are followed and the two sides approach each other. There is certainly no room for violence in all this", Spindelegger added.
Contact:Federal Ministry for European and International AffairsPress Department Tel.: +43 (0) 50 1150-3320Fax: +43 (0) 50 1159-213 abti3(at)bmeia.gv.atwww.mfa.at