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Miroslav Lajčák Finishes His Tour of the Western Balkans by Visiting Pristina

Miroslav Lajčák Finishes His Tour of the Western Balkans by Visiting Pristina

21.6.2019 | Aktivity ministra | Predsedníctvo Slovenska v OBSE

Today’s working trip to Pristina (21 June 2019) by the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, Miroslav Lajčák, closed this stage of his travels to the Western Balkans Region. As Chairperson-in-Office of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) he has visited Podgorica, Tirana, Belgrade, Skopje and Sarajevo in recent days and weeks.  

 

In Pristina, the OSCE’s Chairperson-in-Office engaged in talks with the Kosovo Prime Minister Ramus Haradinaj, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Behgjet Pacolli and co-chairpersons of the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue Shpend Ahmeti and Fatmir Limaj. In his discussions with Kosovo’s representatives, he gave attention to the need for increasing efforts to build a democratic and multi-ethnic society, emphasizing the readiness of the OSCE mission to continue in its support for this goal. “Kosovo hosts one of the biggest OSCE missions, which has already been present here for twenty years. During this time, you have come some way. I hope Kosovo is capable of dealing with the problems it faces, whether it be the state of rule of law, corruption, and organized crime, or administrative effectiveness, the unemployment rate, violent extremism and other issues. The OSCE remains ready to cooperate and assist in any of these areas,” Lajčák said. 

 

The Minister paid tribute by laying flowers at the memorial to Slovak soldiers from the KFOR peacekeeping mission who died in a military aircraft crash in Hungary on 19 January 2006 when returning to their homeland.

 

Slovakia’s chief diplomat also visited Gracanica, where he met the Bishop of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Ilarion, in the local orthodox church, and later the chairperson of the Independent Liberal Party (SLS), Slobodan Petrovic. He also engaged in talks with the mayors of both the South and North parts of divided Mitrovica in Kosovo. “Mitrovica has become a symbol of division. Reconciliation and normalisation of relations in Mitrovica would definitely have impact beyond its local area,” Lajčák stated. The Minister also discussed current problems of local people with NGO representatives.

 

The OSCE has been active in countries of South-Eastern Europe, including Kosovo, for two decades now. The visit of the OSCE’s Chairperson-in-Office in the Western Balkans Region confirmed the organization’s enduring interest in regional challenges and its readiness to support ongoing stabilisation and transition processes.