BEIJING, Apr. 15 -- China looks forward to the resumption of dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo as soon as possible, Ambassador Geng Shuang, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, said in a speech at the UN Security Council open video teleconference on Kosovo on Tuesday.
Amb. Geng expressed that the Kosovo issue is essential to peace and stability in the Balkans and to Europe as a whole. It is important that Serbia and Kosovo work within the framework of the Security Council resolution 1244 to find a solution acceptable to both parties through dialogue and consultation. In this process, Serbia’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity should be fully respected, he stressed.
Over the past six months, relations between Serbia and Kosovo have been stable in general. Progress has been made in energy transmission and border management. China welcomes this positive development, he pointed out. Due to the political turmoil in Kosovo, dialogue between the two sides has been stalled since December last year. China looks forward to the resumption of dialogue ASAP and appreciates the willingness on the part of Serbia for the talk. The results of the previous dialogue must also be implemented. Kosovo should follow the Brussels agreement and make effective efforts as early as possible to promote the establishing of the Association/Community of Serb-majority municipalities. As the Coordinator of the Serbia-Kosovo relationship, the EU should play a facilitating role in this regard.
Geng also stressed that strengthening unity among ethnic groups is the only way to achieve peace and stability in Kosovo. While the COVID-19 pandemic poses a threat to the health of people of all ethnic groups in both sides, both parties should turn the fight against the pandemic into an important opportunity to strengthen unity and cooperation and achieve peaceful coexistence. According to the SG’s report, with the political turmoil, pandemic prevention and control was relaxed, leading to sharp increase of infections. When Serbia provided vaccines to area in Kosovo inhabited by Kosovo serbs, the Kosovo authorities reacted strongly which came as a surprise. “The international community should make sure that vaccines are fairly distributed and vaccine gaps are eliminated. It should also be ensured that there are no man-made obstacles to vaccination,” Geng said. “Vaccines are important for people's lives and health. Extensive vaccination should be done in a way that helps increase mutual trust among all ethnic groups.”
Amb. Geng further reiterated that China appreciates the work done by UNMIK under the leadership of Special Representative Tanin and supports UNMIK’s continued efforts to perform its duties as a coordinator in accordance with its mandate. And China also calls on relevant parties to fully protect the safety of UN personnel and create favorable conditions for UNMIK to perform its duties.