Ban praises progress in dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo, urges flexibility

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) meets with Hachim Thaçi, Representative of the Kosovo authorities. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

11 April 2012 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has praised progress made in the European Union-facilitated dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo, saying the talks are creating a better foundation for peace and stability in the region.

At a meeting with Hashim Thaci, a representative of the Kosovo authorities, in New York yesterday, Mr. Ban underlined the importance of taking a flexible and constructive approach to resolving differences between Serbia and Kosovo to maintain calm, especially during the sensitive period of elections, according to information released by Secretary-General’s spokesperson after the meeting.

Mr. Ban also encouraged deeper engagement with the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), which, he said, stands ready to assist in ensuring a peaceful resolution of the issues.

A dispute between Kosovo and Serbia over the control of two border crossings in northern Kosovo resulted in several violent clashes between local Serb residents and the NATO-led Kosovo Force last year. Tensions eased after dialogue resumed.

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