Kosovo has made great progress since declaring independence in February 2008, according to a new United Nations report. The country has adopted a modern constitution that ensures the rights of all ethnic groups and established institutions of governance, including a Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Kosovo authorities have taken steps to provide for basic security needs through the establishment of a civilian-controlled security force, and have started issuing Kosovo passports.
Kosovo’s success has made possible the downsizing of the UN mission in Kosovo and the transferring of the rule of law authorities to the European Union’s rule of law mission or EULEX. The rapid deployment of EULEX throughout Kosovo, said the U.S. State Department, “will greatly enhance security and stability in the whole region. The United States strongly supports EULEX and will contribute over 80 police officers, judges and prosecutors to the mission.” EULEX’s deployment will help ensure a unified customs regime and a single police chain of command.
The U.S. welcomes the government of Kosovo’s support for the quick and effective deployment of EULEX throughout the country. All who have a stake in Kosovo’s future must act responsibly to ensure that EULEX assumes its proper role in Kosovo. This will ensure that members of all communities, including Serbs, have a safe and secure future in Kosovo.
The United States, said U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Daniel Fried, also supports a European future for Serbia. “We have disagreements with Serbia about Kosovo,” said Mr. Fried, “but we do not disagree that Serbia deserves a European future, and we look forward to the day when Serbia and Kosovo and all the states of that region will be together in the wider European family.”