UN Security Council meeting 27 May gave green light to proceed with mid-year review of progress on standards, to be initiated “this summer” under duly appointed special envoy. Improvements noted in outreach to minority communities and recent smooth transition of government though concerns raised over progress on government decentralisation and municipal pilot projects, inter-party rancour and violent incidents. Kosovo Assembly held first debate on decentralisation and pilot projects 19-20 May - government agreed to review plan after all parties expressed concerns. Thaci’s PDK party held out against participation in Political Forum for final status questions proposed by UN Special Rep. Soren Jessen-Petersen; submitted new dossier to UNMIK with evidence of governing LDK party private intelligence structure; police raided office of presumed LDK intelligence service 10 May. Kosovo’s President Rugova and PM Kosumi refused to meet Serbian counterparts.
“UN: Kosovo chief cites progress, recommends review”, RFE/RL, 28 May 2005.
“Setting high standards”, Transitions Online, 23 May 2005.
“Diplomatic process unfolds”, IWPR, 18 May 2005.
For background see Crisis Group Europe Report N°161, Kosovo: Toward Final Status, 24 Jan. 2005.
UN Special Envoy Marti Ahtisaari reported to UNSG Annan in New York 19 December concluding first phase of contacts with regional actors; said talks planned for January should first focus on decentralisation. Report by EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn recommended increased EU involvement after status talks, including potentially central policing role. UNMIK authorised establishment of justice and interior ministries, seen as important steps in building state capacity in province. Retired Ambassador Frank Wisner appointed U.S. envoy for status talks. Security stepped up after several incidents, including grenade attack on bus near Prizren 4 December and reported shootings in Mitrovica end of month.
“EU considers key role in Kosovo”, BBC, 12 Dec. 2005.
“Comment: Tough road ahead for Kosovo talks”, BIRN, 2 Dec. 2005.
For background, see Crisis Group Europe Report N°165, Bridging Kosovo’s Mitrovica Divide, 13 Sept. 2005.