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Minister Creighton says further reforms needed to ensure stable future in Kosovo

Security, Press Releases, Europe, 2012

PRISHTINË/PRIŠTINA, 26 September 2012 – In meetings with leaders in Kosovo today, Minister for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton said Ireland remains committed to building a stable future for all the communities in Kosovo. The Minister is visiting the Western Balkans ahead of Ireland's Presidency of the European Council and to represent Ireland as Chair in Office of the OSCE. 

“Ireland remains committed to participating in the international community’s efforts to help build a stable and brighter future for all the communities in Kosovo”, she said, following her meetings with the Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister, Hajredin Kuçi, Deputy Foreign Minister Petrit Selimi and Radojica Tomić, Minister for Communities and Returns.

The Minister hosted a lunch for members of the Irish community in Kosovo who are serving with the KFOR, EULEX, UNMIK, EUSR, Council of Europe and the OSCE. 

She welcomed the progress that Kosovo has made in recent years. “Institutions have been established, key elements of the legislative framework have been put in place and there has been a constructive approach to regional co-operation,” she said.

Minister Creighton praised the OSCE Mission’s support to building strong, accountable and transparent democratic institutions, a professional police force, and to promoting human and community rights in Kosovo. She said that the OSCE, with its experience and know-how, is “well-positioned to continue helping the institutions to become more accountable and effective”.

“We look forward to further progress in such important areas as public administration reform, rule of law and the protection of minorities and fundamental rights.” 

Minister Creighton noted that recent incidents affecting Kosovo Serbs and other communities are damaging relations, and said she hoped that the authorities will respond adequately. An agreement on the modalities for a resumption of the EU-facilitated dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, as well as reconciliation among communities are essential for improving relations and co-operation in the region,” she stressed. “Full implementation of the agreements already reached is essential.”

Later today, Minister Creighton will meet with the representatives of the international organisations, as well as Bishop Teodosije of Raška-Prizren, Serbian Orthodox Diocese covering Kosovo.

The visit to the region will continue with a series of meetings in Skopje tomorrow, followed by visits to Ljubljana and Tirana on Friday.