UN may remain for "limited duration," Kosovo president tells Ban
President Fatmir Sejdiu said Tuesday told the United Nations that its mission would be allowed to remain in Kosovo for a "limited duration" after governing it for eight years, reported dpa.
"We take note of your decision to have the UN perform certain limited residual functions in Kosovo," Sejdiu said in the letter also that was released to local media.
Sejdiu responded to UN chief Ban Ki-moon's proposal last week to reshape the UN presence in order to reflect the new developments.
The new facts include Kosovo's declaration of independence, its new constitution and the European Union mission, the EULEX, which was deployed, but amid legal and diplomatic controversy, to help Kosovo implement laws while taking first sovereign steps.
Ban acknowledged that his hands were tied as the UN Security Council remains divided over Kosovo - the West endorses its independence and Serbia's ally Russia blocks it.
Kosovo on Sunday started enforcing its new constitution, which however makes no room for a UN role. Pristina wants EULEX, a lighter, law-enforcing mission deployed by the European Union to take over.
"We understand that the UN will continue to perform, for a limited duration, rule of law functions ... until the European Union is able to perform its operational role," the letter said.
Sejdiu stressed that UN would have to consult Pristina for "viable arrangements."
The UN mission arrived nine years ago, after NATO ousted Belgrade's security forces from Kosovo to end repression of the Albanians, a 90-per cent ethnic majority.
Since fledging under the auspices of the UN, Kosovo institutions have been building the foundation to declare independence from Serbia, which Pristina finally did, after two years of failed talks with Belgrade, on February 17.
Backed by Russia, Serbia however insists that Kosovo is its soil. It rejected Ban's plan as a "backdoor" for the recognition of independence.
Belgrade has limited diplomatic relations with more than 40 countries, including most Western powers, which have recognized Kosovo as a new country.