Ivica DacicStatement by First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dacic

“The UN Security Council session devoted to Kosovo and Metohija was characterized – after a lengthier period of time – by a critical attitude of the Organization’s Secretary-General towards the acts of Pristina authorities. This critical attitude was expressed in several parts of the Secretary-General’s Report through criticism of the behaviour of the Kosovo Police towards Marko Djuric, as well as the fact that reports noted that, in the period under review, only three returnees returned to – as they said, Kosovo and Metohija. This means that out of a total of 200,000 internally displaced persons, expelled persons, only three returned in the current reporting period of three months. The picture is complete when combined with the outcomes in all other years, and the fact that the total number of returnees corresponds to 1.9%. We never allow this issue to be side-tracked. It is highly important that all participants in the Security Council session referred to the obligation of Pristina to form the Community of Serbian Municipalities.

If we set aside the classical politicization of this issue by countries that have recognized Kosovo, and calls on other countries to act likewise, I believe that the session was useful to the extent that all Security Council Member States were informed of the situation in Kosovo and Metohija. Naturally, I drew attention to the indispensable need for maintaining the discussions every three months because – irrespective of the fact that the situation in Kosovo and Metohija is not as dramatic as in 1999, it is far from ideal, since a small incident would suffice to cause significant political and security instability not only in Kosovo and Metohija, but in the entire region.

There will be serious discussions in the coming months on whether at all, or how these sessions will be held further on. The proposals of some Western countries are to put an end to the mission; to change the format of holding sessions, i.e. replacing sessions with consultations closed to the public, in addition to some proposals not to hold discussions every three months, but only two or three times a year.

Nevertheless, since the next session will be held in three months, and the Security Council will be presided over by the United Kingdom, we can expect the reoccurrence of this topic. We have informed all Security Council Member States of our positions, and I believe that our attention should be focused on reaching a political agreement instead of causing further political instability.

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