26.02.2012

Deputy Prime Minister Edita Tahiri visits NATO

Deputy Prime Minister for Foreign Policy and National Security Mrs. Edita Tahiri has paid a visit to the NATO headquarters and met with ambassadors from North Atlantic Alliance member countries and several partner countries.

Press release 

Brussels, 26 February 2012

Deputy Prime Minister for Foreign Policy and National Security Mrs. Edita Tahiri has paid a visit to the NATO headquarters and met with ambassadors from North Atlantic Alliance member countries and several partner countries. 

Other participants in the meeting included: US Deputy Permanent Representative to NATO, Mr.  Joseph Manso, Albanian Ambassador, Mr. Artur Kuko, German Ambassador, Mr. Martin Erdmann, United Kingdom’s Permanent Representative, Mrs. Mariot Leslie, France’s Ambassador, Mr. Mark Abensour, Italian Ambassador, Mr. Ricardo Sessa, Turkish Ambassador, Mr. Haydar Berk, Belgian Ambassador, Mr. Rudolf Huygelen, Bulgarian Ambassador, Mr. Todor Churov, Luxembourgish Ambassador, Mr. Jean-Jacques Weflring, Ambassador of the Netherlands, Mr. Frank Majoor, Norwegian Ambassador, Mr. Vegard Ellefsen, Croatian Ambassador, Mr. Igor Pokaz, Hungarian Ambassador, Mr. Istvan Kovacs, Latvian Ambassador, Mr. Maris Riekstins, Portugal Ambassador, Mrs. Christina Serpa De Almeida, Slovenian Ambassador, Mr. Andrej Benedejcic, current Canadian Representative, Mrs. Isabelle Poupart, Czech Deputy Ambassador, Mr. Petr Chalupceky, Danish Representative, Mrs. Anja Levysohn, Estonian Deputy Mr. Artur Kink, Lithuanian Representative, Mrs. Tatyana Karadzhova, Polish Ambassador, Mr. Michal Miarka, Head of Irish Office in NATO, Mrs. Shane O`Neill and representatives from other NATO partner countries, Mr. Paul Garnier from Switzerland, Mrs. Pia Rantala from Finland and Mrs. Engberg from Sweden. 

The meeting was chaired by the Albanian Ambassador to NATO, Mr. Artur Kuko, as organizer of the meeting, and he first presented Deputy Prime Minister Tahiri and her background and pointed out her role in the recent history of Kosovo and as chief negotiator of the Republic of Kosovo in the technical dialogue in Brussels. 

In her address, Deputy Prime Minister Edita Tahiri first thanked NATO and its member states for their support at all the stages of Kosovo’s state building of Kosovo from its liberation days until nowadays when Kosovo is a country that fully deserves and aspires becoming a full-right member of NATO, as the biggest military alliance in the world. She pointed out that NATO has played a key role in the liberation and independence of Kosovo and that after the war NATO and KFOR have given and are giving a precious contribution for peace and security in Kosovo. She also highly appreciated the engagement of NATO in preparing the national security architecture in the Republic of Kosovo by directly supporting the Security Force which is steadily moving ahead as a force compatible to NATO standards and it will soon be an army to contribute to peace in the region and beyond. 

Then, Mrs. Tahiri focused on the Euro-Atlantic vision of Kosovo and the commitment of the Government of Kosovo to undergo structural reforms based on Euro-Atlantic principles in the interest of all the citizens and communities living in our country. Amongst other things, she pointed out that over the last four years of independence we have consolidated democratic institutions in our new state and we have strengthened the international position of Kosovo, which has been recognized so far by the most powerful part of the world, with 88 recognitions, including the US, major EU member states and many other world states. Mrs. Tahiri further elaborated the vision for the development of the state of Kosovo, saying that it is founded on fundamental democratic principles, the rule of law and market economy and that we are determined to make Kosovo a successful state to be welcomed in the families of NATO, EU and UN, as a respected country and responsible for its international obligations. In this respect, she called for the continuation of their support for Kosovo and for increasing the number of recognitions. 

She went on to brief the participants on the course of the technical dialogue between the Republic of Kosovo and Serbia, mediated by the European Union and backed by the United States of America. She considered the agreements achieved as an important outcome of the dialogue and concluded that the real success of the dialogue lies in the full implementation of the agreements and added that Kosovo has been a constructive party and that it has carried out all its obligations deriving from these agreements, while Serbia on the other hand, has lagged behind in meeting its implementing obligations, and therefore it should be more serious in its approach to implement the obligations from the technical dialogue that we have had in Brussels. 

Deputy Prime Minister Edita Tahiri specifically pointed out the importance of the agreement on integrated border management between the two states and the agreement on regional cooperation, as they contribute to mutual recognition between states, good neighborhood and regional stability. She said that the last round of talks was very difficult and that our decisions as Government of Kosovo show our clear determination for European and Euro-Atlantic integration, therefore we rightly welcome the launch of the process of Stabilization and Association Agreement as confirmed by European leaders. Mrs. Tahiri also thanked the European Union and the United States of America for their contribution in the technical dialogue. 

Kosovo and its Government are contributing to regional stability and good neighborly relations, and of course the other party is also required to show a higher level of seriousness to implement the agreements and to give an end to its illegal intrusions in Kosovo and to dismantle road blocks and illegal parallel structures in the north of the country. She also said that this part of the Kosovo Serbs should give up on the illusions and accept and realize the importance to implement the Ahtisaari package as it is in their interest as it goes beyond the highest international standards on minority rights. The Ahtisaari Package is an integral part of the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo and that is the offer of the Government of Kosovo for the integration of the Serb community members in the north of Kosovo accompanied with an increase in socio-economic investments in that part of Kosovo. 

Deputy Prime Minister Tahiri said that the independence of Kosovo has contributed to stability and peace in the region and added that the sooner Kosovo and all the other countries in the region integrate in Euro-Atlantic structures the sooner will the objective of the democratic world for a stable Balkans and lasting peace will be reached. 

Permanent ambassadors from NATO member states congratulated Deputy Prime Minister Tahiri on the fourth anniversary of the independence of Kosovo and acknowledged considerable progress in consolidating the state, strengthening democratic institutions, overall European reforms and in building the Security Force in conformity with NATO standards. They reconfirmed full support from their respective countries for the territorial sovereignty and integrity of the Republic of Kosovo and promised supporting Kosovo in its journey towards Euro-Atlantic integration.