UN chief urges Pristina to normalize relations with Belgrade through "dialogue"

UN chief urges Pristina to normalize relations with Belgrade through "dialogue"
# 24 July 2012 20:49 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday urged Pristina to normalize its relations with Belgrade through "dialogue and mutual respect" on his visit to Kosovo, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

"One overriding theme of my visit is the importance of dialogue and mutual respect across the region," Ban told reporters at the Pristina airport.

He said the message is also for Kosovo’s leaders, and to the people of Kosovo, "who I know have suffered from conflict and who yearn for a peaceful, prosperous future."

Ban held closed-door meetings with Kosovo leaders Atifete Jahjaga and Hashim Thaci to avoid statehood clarifications, as Kosovo is not a UN member state.

Kosovo unilaterally declared its own independence from Serbia in 2008, but Serbia never accepts it and still recognizes Kosovo as one of its provinces.

"It is essential that sensitive and complex issues related to northern Kosovo be resolved through peaceful dialogue," Ban reiterated.

Noting that the European Union has taken over the leading role in international efforts in the region, Ban added that the UN would continue its work "with all the international partners in achieving the common goals of the people in Kosovo and the wider region."
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