UN envoy says Vienna talks on Kosovo are door to success

9 October 2003
SRSG Harri Holkeri

The head of the United Nations mission in Kosovo today urged representatives of the Pristina provisional institutions of self-government to attend planned talks with Belgrade officials next week in Vienna.

Harri Holkeri, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative for Kosovo said, "I support the dialogue as an important element in reaching the standards endorsed by the international community and resolving practical issues important to Kosovo."

Officials from Belgrade and Pristina were invited to the talks on the area's future, along with representatives of the so-called Contact Group - the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Russian Federation - and ministerial-level delegates from NATO, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Asked by a reporter in Pristina about reported reluctance of Kosovo officials to attend, Mr. Holkeri said, "Time is running and we have to make our preparations. But the door is open."

Mr. Holkeri said a primary goal of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) is to work itself out of a job, and "I try to convince everybody that I am here to make myself unnecessary, UNMIK is here to retreat and we need cooperation with the society, with the leaders to do so, but perhaps we need further consultations, we need further mutual understanding that we can do that together. I need help from the Kosovo Albanian side to make myself unnecessary and Vienna talks is one, very important door or gate on that road."


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