No partition of Kosovo, Steering Group says

Other News Materials 28 February 2008 16:25 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - There will be no partition Kosovo, the newly established International Steering Group on Kosovo (ISG) said Thursday in Vienna.

"It is not foreseen...and not the purpose of this group," EU special representative Pieter Feith, who was also named Kosovo's new International Civilian Representative, said.

Fifteen nations participated in the ISG's formative meeting. The group's main task will be to monitor the implementation of the plan presented by UN Kosovo negotiator Martti Ahtisaari by the Pristina authorities.

The participating states - Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Turkey, the United States, Belgium, Denmark, France, Hungary, Slovenia, Switzerland and Britain - said they wanted to promote Kosovo's development a "stable, multiethnic and democratic state."

In remarks to reporters, Feith said, "my role will be to insure that the rights and ways of life of all communities, in particular the Serbian community will be safeguarded." He added that the ISG had received the necessary commitments from Kosovo's leaders.

The ISG would tolerate neither violence nor the establishment of any parallel security institutions on the territory of Kosovo, Feith stressed.