UN Mission No Longer Needed in Kosovo – says Deputy PM

Enver Hoxhaj

Prishtina, Kosovo | May 29 (Tirana Echo) – The United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) is no longer necessary in the country and it should be terminated – says the deputy prime minister of Kosovo Enver Hoxhaj.

Hoxhaj made his comments on Twitter on international peacekeepers day and thanked UN peacekeepers for helping build a multi-ethnic and democratic Kosovo.

Peacekeepers are needed in conflict zones, but UNMIK is unnecessary as Kosovo is now a stable country. The UN Mission should be terminated & its budget should be allocated elsewhere,” wrote Hoxhaj.

The current deputy PM who is known for his previous role as a successful foreign minister for Kosovo, has been one of the loudest critics of the international mission run by the UN in the small Balkan country which celebrated 10 years of independence in February and which is recognized by 116 UN member states.

UN critics have questioned the necessity of a UN mission, given the country is now independent and runs its own affairs, including policing and border controls.

UNMIK was established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1244, which was passed on 10 June 1999. In that Resolution, the UN decided to deploy in Kosovo, under United Nations auspices, an international civil and security presence.

Currently, UNMIK describes its mandate as “helping the Security Council achieve an overall objective, namely, to ensure conditions for a peaceful and normal life for all inhabitants of Kosovo and advance regional stability in the western Balkans.”

The European Union mediates talks between Serbia and Kosovo to reach a deal on a formal recognition of the former Yugoslav province and settle ethnic conflicts through a long-term reconciliation plan.

Both Serbia and Kosovo hope to join the European Union while EU leaders have pledged their support for a firm European perspective of the whole Western Balkans.

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