Priština, 6 February 2008 – The Head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, Tim Guldimann may be dismissed because of his differing views on Kosovo’s independence, a Pristina daily reported Wednesday.

Kosovo daily, Express cites sources within the Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe saying that “Guldimann has compromised the position of the mission by making his own, personal statements about independence.”

They were also quoted as saying that “he was opposing any advice coming from his staff.”

The information, however, was not confirmed by OSCE officials. Elli Flen, the organisation’s spokesperson for Kosovo, told Balkan Insight “I have no information that anything like this is going on,” said Flen.

Guldimann, a Swiss diplomat, took up the post in late 2007. But his stance on the final long-term status of Kosovo has raised a few eyebrows among local media.

In his interviews to various Swiss dailies, he explicitly expressed his opposition to Kosovo’s independence, arguing that “it may pose a precedent for other breakaway territories.”

The Finnish Foreign Minister, Ilka Kanerva, who is currently chairing the OSCE, is set to visit the UN-administered territory this week.

The OSCE sources in Kosovo are quoted by Express as having confirmed that “the issue of Guldimann will be a big part of Kanerva’s agenda” adding Guldimann’s position “is going to be clarified after his visit to Kosovo.”

The same source states that “the Swiss diplomat is banned from giving any further statements on the status,” and “a decision for his dismissal could be taken very soon.”

Furthermore, Express daily notes that there is speculation that Guldimann will be declared “persona non-grata” by the Kosovo’s authorities.

Source: BalkanInsight

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