UN chief commends "constructive steps" in Kosovo dialogue

NEW YORK -- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the constructive steps in the continuation of the Belgrade-Priština dialogue in his regular quarterly report.

He also "expressed the hope that it would gradually lead to a normalization in relations" and setting up lasting peace in the region.

Ban noted that some progress was made in the dialogue with the EU as the mediator in the period from July 16 to October 15.

He welcomed the assurances of Belgrade and Priština as regards their willingness and commitment to continuation of strong involvement in the dialogue so as to resolve conflicting issues by peaceful means, with a view to maintaining their joint European perspective, the report on the UN mission in Kosovo states, as released on the UN website.

Over the past few months, they demonstrated that both sides are willing to overcome the obstacles caused by different interpretations of the agreement and that they are willing to move forward, Ban said.

He stated that constructive steps implemented in this period in terms of joint border management at administrative crossings and regional cooperation give ground for optimism.

The UN chief said that after these steps, these and other agreements reached during the previous meetings in the dialogue should be fully implemented.

Ban said that he is looking forward to the continuation of the dialogue and that he hopes that incentives will be created for Belgrade and Priština "to move toward normalization of relations gradually and set up lasting peace in the region".

In the report which the UN Security Council would discuss on November 27, Ban stated that the security situation in Kosovo was relatively calm and noted that security incidents are still causing concern.

The UN secretary general invited Belgrade and Priština leaders and local government to show restraint, patience and good will necessary for achieving a sustainable solution.