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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at Security Council Briefing on UNMIK

2020-10-21 23:20

Mr. President,

I would like to thank SRSG Tanin for his briefing, and welcome the presence of the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Serbia, Mr. Ivica Dačić, and his statement. I've also listened to the statement by Ms. Meliza Haradinaj-Stublla.

In July and September this year, Serbia and Kosovo held several rounds of EU-facilitated dialogue focusing on the issues of missing persons and economic cooperation, marking the official resumption of the dialogue between the two parties after two years. On 4 September, the two sides signed an agreement on the normalization of economic relations and agreed to build roads and railways connecting the two sides. It is one important step forward. China welcomes these positive developments and hopes that the two sides will maintain political good faith, consolidate the positive momentum, and achieve substantive results in the dialogue at an early date.

China's position on the Kosovo issue has been consistent. We respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia, understand the legitimate concerns of the Serbian side on the Kosovo issue and appreciate the positive efforts made by Serbia to seek a political solution to the Kosovo issue. China supports the efforts of both sides to seek a mutually acceptable solution through sincere dialogue and consultation on the legal basis of Security Council resolution 1244.

Reconciliation and a harmonious coexistence of all ethnic groups in Kosovo is in the common interest of all ethnicities. The Kosovo government should create a favorable environment to this end, and enhance amity and mutual trust among different communities. We hope Kosovo will continue to implement the Brussels Agreement and effectively promote the formation of the community of Serbian municipalities, China notes that according to the SG’s report, the municipality of Deçan/Dečani has recently resumed rail construction in the Special Protective Zone of the Visoki Dečani monastery, giving rise to tensions and sparking wide international concern. We hope that the government of Kosovo will abide by the relevant laws and the decision of the Constitutional Court to protect the property rights or monastery.

Lastly, we reiterate our appreciation for the positive efforts of SRSG Tanin and UNMIK to push for a political solution to the Kosovo issue. China supports UNMIK in continuing to implement its mandate and play an important role, and calls on all parties to implement Security Council resolution 2518 in good faith to ensure the safety and security of UN personnel to create favorable conditions for UNMIK’s mandate implementation.

I thank you, Mr. President.

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