Mr Harri Holkeri, the new Head of the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK),
came to NATO HQ for his first meeting with Lord Robertson on 9 September.
During a meeting with the media afterwards, the Secretary General
was questioned on KFOR, the possible expansion of the ISAF mandate
in Afghanistan, and, as speculation grows on the question, the
choice of his successor, at the head of the Alliance.
Regarding the situation in Kosovo, at a joint press conference with
Lord Robertson, Mr Holkeri stated that the role of UNMIK was to make
the province a safe place for all of its inhabitants to live in. The
situation in Kosovo could be better and needs efforts on both sides
for it to improve, he said while stressing that its future could never
be based on the use of violence. The Head of UNMIK was referring to
the violence perpetrated in Kosovo during the summer. Lord Robertson
also deplored these incidents, stating that they "put roadblocks
on Kosovo joining the EU family of nations"
. He added that the
future status of the province would be discussed at an appropriate
point, but that he fully agreed with the UN policy of achieving the
necessary standards before deciding on the final status.
Mr Holkeri is the former President of the 55th General Assembly
of the UN (2000-2001) and was Prime Minister of Finland from 1987
to 1991. He succeeds Michael Steiner.
Asked about a possible expansion of ISAF's mandate in Afghanistan,
Lord Robertson said the issue had been raised by a number of NATO
countries, adding, "This matter is being looked at inside
NATO... and we'll be looking for some military advice on how feasible