18 January 2008 – Several high-rank politicians called on the Kosovo authorities to demonstrate their commitment towards minority rights.

In an interview with the German Bild-Zeitung, the German Defence Minister, Franz Josef Jung said: “Now the protection of minorities and the return of refugees need to be guaranteed. We take the Kosovo government by its word.”

During a mass organised by the Albanian mission in the Eastern part of Switzerland, the Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey said on Sunday, that Kosovo could learn from Switzerland how a multi-ethnic state functions. “They have the privilege, but also the obligation, to make of their country an example for Europe and the world,” she declared.

The United States are welcoming Kosovo’s clear commitment to protect Kosovo’s ethnic minorities, the spokesman of the US Department of State, Sean Mc Cormack said in Washington on Sunday. He added that the protection of the rights of the Serbian minority, included in the proposal by UN Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari, was of particular importance.

In an interview with the Hungarian News Agency MTI on Sunday, Hungary Foreign Minister Kinga Goncz said that Hungary considers it extremely important that Kosovo sticks to the principles and values proposed by the Special Enyoy. “That includes democracy, rule of law, and the operation of a market economy. But, most of all, it means ensuring minority communities,” she is quoted.

Russia’s Ambassador Vitaly Churkin expressed concerns about the safety of Kosovo Serbs and other ethnic minorities in Kosovo during an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council organised at Russia’s demand on Sunday.

Romano Them