Leaders of Serbia and Kosovo look to the future, says UN envoyListen /
Leaders of Serbia and Kosovo have been commended by the top United Nations envoy in Kosovo for their efforts to normalize relations.
Farid Zarif, who is also the head of the UN Mission in the territory, briefed the Security Council on the situation in Kosovo which broke away from Serbia in 2008.
Serbia has refused to recognize the independence of Kosovo and the European Union Foreign Affairs chief Catherine Ashton has been facilitating talks to normalize relations between Serbia and Kosovo.
Mr. Zarif told the Security Council that a milestone in these talks was on 19 October when Prime Ministers Ivica Dačić of Serbia and Hashim Thaçi of Kosovo met for the first time as leaders of their delegations.
He said this first meeting was swiftly followed by a second meeting on 7 November where the two leaders demonstrated their seriousness and agreed on concrete steps to move forward with their dialogue.
"I am personally gratified by these developments and wish to congratulate both sides, in particular these two leaders for demonstrating the political will and courage to embark on the difficult yet indispensable process of working together to recast their relations between Belgrade and Pristina. In so doing, they each showed that they are looking to the future rather than to the past."
Mr. Zarif said that given the complexities of the situation, it would be unreasonable to expect solutions to emerge too easily and too quickly, and he urged the Security Council to support the process.
Dianne Penn, United Nations