31 October 2006

Gruevski calls for tightened control on border with Kosovo

Makfax news agency, Skoplje, Skopje, 3.10.2006 17:34

Macedonia and UNMIK need to step up the border monitoring in order to prevent radical structures to create tensions during the process of resolving of the Kosovo issue.

Macedonian PM Nikola Gruevski voiced this stance on Tuesday after his meeting with the Head of UNMIK Joachim Ruecker in Skopje, noting that interlocutors shared the position of marking the border before or during the negotiations over the province's status.

"As regards the following period, I underscored the need of stepped up monitoring on both sides in order to prevent certain criminal and radical structures to take advantage of the moment and pursue their own objectives", Gruevski said.

In terms of marking the border with Kosovo, Gruevski said: "I spelled out our commitment for closing the issue of border demarcation, which is treated as purely technical, as soon as possible. We urged for completion of this operation prior to reaching a solution on the final status of Kosovo, and by no means afterwards".

On his part, the chief of UNMIK said "There is a common agreement to solve the border issue in the context of solving the Kosovo's status. I agree completely with the Prime Minister, it should be done before, and not afterwards".

UNMIK plans his activities on the basis of the statement of the Contact Group released on 20 September in New York, saying that all efforts should be put into finding a solution on Kosovo by the year-end, Ruecker added.

Gruevski reminded Ruecker on the recent meeting between himself and his Kosovo's counterpart Agim Ceku, when Ceku vowed to urge his Government to improve the situation of Gorans living in Kosovo in terms of providing better infrastructure, schools for attending classes in their mother tongue, as well as for respecting of the right to express freely their ethnic belonging.