EU names its envoy to Kosovo

Other News Materials 16 February 2008 17:44 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa)-  The European Union on Saturday officially named its envoy to Serbia's breakaway province Kosovo, which is expected to declare independence on Sunday.

Dutch national Pieter Feith, 63, was confirmed as EU special envoy for Kosovo by the member states' governments, according to the Council of Ministers.

At the same time, former French general Yves de Kermabon, 59, was appointed head of the EU legal mission in Kosovo, EULEX.

Feith, the former leader of all EU crisis missions, is to be in charge of political issues and chief coordinator of the EU in Kosovo.

Some 1,900 people are to work for EULEX in Kosovo, EU sources said. An additional 300 police and border officials would be on standby for a mission.

An additional contingent of 1,100 local staff will bring the number of people working for EULEX in Kosovo to 3,000.

The police and legals experts are to support Kosovan authorities in the creation of a multi-ethnic constitutional state.

The main tasks of the mission would include the protection of minorities and the fight against corruption and organized crime, a statement by the Council of Ministers said.

The United Nations Mission In Kosovo (UNMIK) is to remain in control of affairs for a transitional period of 120 days when the EU is to take over.

The costs of the mission were estimated at 205 million euros (301 million dollars) for 16 months.