Strasbourg, 22 January 2008 – In a speech at the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, the Hungarian Prime Minister, Ferenc Gyurcsány, asked for a clear commitment of the Kosovo leadership to Human and minority rights as a condition for a sustainable solution over Kosovo’s status.

Extract: 

“My Government considers the stability and the development of the Western Balkan nations to be an issue of high priority for several obvious reasons: first, the geographical proximity, with all its implications on security; second, the presence of various ethnic minorities, including a significant Hungarian community in the area; and, thirdly, the fact that South-East Europe is a significant partner for the Hungarian economy. While, as I pointed out previously, Hungary has a vital interest in stabilizing the Western Balkans and create peace, democracy and prosperity, we are fully aware that the settlement of the Kosovo issue is high priority for the whole of Europe, and it has a direct impact on global stability and security as well. We Europeans must play a key role and carry the lead responsibility for this process.

Today the Assembly is debating the developments regarding the future status of Kosovo. We regret that, despite the Troika’s utmost efforts to achieve a negotiated settlement, the parties to the Kosovo conflict were unable to reach a mutually acceptable agreement.

The current situation in Kosovo is unsustainable. Independence with the precise contents and consequence to be defined later seems to be increasingly unavoidable. The countries of Europe will have to react to that development in a closely coordinated, constructive manner. For the form and substance of that reaction, we have to be sure that Kosovo is ready to accept the standards established in the Ahtisaari Plan. We consider it crucial for the Pristina leadership to unequivocally assume the commitments regarding full respect for democracy and the rule of law through legislative, executive and judicial institutions, and full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the specific rights of the Communities in Kosovo. The implementation of these commitments will have to be closely followed and strictly monitored by the international community, as only full compliance with them can guarantee Kosovo to be sustainable and give the necessary assurances to the minorities living there.”

The full text of the speech is available at:

http://www.coe.int/t/dc/files/pa_session/jan_2008/20080122_disc_gyurcsany_en.asp