Priština, 13 January 2008 – UNMIK chief Joachim Ruecker says “institutions in Kosovo are mature” for the settling of Kosovo’s status.

He spoke to journalists in Priština when he said that UNMIK’s role was to “aid the process” and added he hoped this question will be “closed soon.”
However, Ruecker said that the UN mission in the province “had no mandate to comment on what the final status of Kosovo will be and how it should be resolved.”

The UNMIK chief is set to present his report to the UN Security Council in New York on Jan. 16, which, in his words, will emphasize “progress Kosovo has made in achieving the standards”, at the same time stating that “further progress will depend on status.”

Ruecker also repeated there would be no partition of Kosovo, as well as that the province’s north was “Kosovo’s integral part.”

Meantime, Kosovo Albanian authorities are united in their appraisal of a recent statement by Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel, who said he “did not expect Kosovo to declare independence.”

This comment, coming from the high ranking official of the country holding the EU presidency, will not influence the process of defining Kosovo’s status, authorities in Priština believe.

Today’s Koha Ditore quotes the deputy prime minister, Hajredin Kuciu, as saying that the government of this province “will be responsible in its actions and will respect the will of the citizens to declare independence, with full coordination with Brussels.”

“Kosovo’s institutions are working to declare independence within an optimal deadline, in coordination with those countries who supported and continue to support Kosovo’s independence, such as the U.S., EU, and other democratic countries,” a spokesman for the province’s president, Fatmir Sejdiu, was also cited.

Source: B92/BETA/Tanjug