|Updated: 27 September 1999||KFOR Press Updates|
KFOR Press Conference
by the NATO Secretary General Javier Solana
Good morning. I am delighted to be in Pristina again. You remember I
was with you about three weeks ago. I will tell you my impression after
having a very intense day yesterday - I spent the night here in Pristina
- and having talked to many people. I think that we are working towards
our common goal, the goal of peace and stability here in Kosovo. Let me
remind you that KFOR has deployed 45,000 troops already and it is interesting
to underline that for more than 25 Nations, which is something that I
think that should never be forgotten, under the NATO lead and established
a secure environment. The UN Mission in Kosovo is in place. The UCK has
been demilitarised. The civilian Kosovo Protection Corps has been created
and nearly Kosovar Albanian refugees have returned. As you know a transitional
Council chaired by Dr Kouchner has been set as well the Joint Security
(inaudible). Yesterday as you told you before, I had a very productive
day of meetings with Dr Kouchner, with General Jackson, and with other
Senior Representatives of the international organisations and agencies
and Senior Political Leaders. I will have the opportunity today in the
next hours to visit the Multinational Brigade WEST together with General
Clark in Istok. I would like to once again, congratulate all the men and
women of KFOR for the superb work they are doing in providing a secure
environment for the people of Kosovo and for the UN international organisations.
I would like today to thank particularly General Jackson for his leadership
all along since he came here and the successful negotiation that led to
the creation of the Kosovo Protection Corps. I would like to express my
admiration and my gratitude to him and to all the people who work under
his command. I would like also to pay my gratitude and admiration to Dr
Kouchner for the outstanding work in rebuilding Kosovo.
Question from the Washington Post: You were quoted in a wire services last week as telling reporters in Washington that Kosovar Albanians must give up their dream of independence. I'm wondering if that's a correct quote and if you could explain a little bit you reasoning for that statement, weather you have a concern that if Kosovo became independent, it might have a ripple effect elsewhere in Europe or elsewhere in the world perhaps even in your homeland.
Answer from Javier Solana - NATO Secretary General: Well, I don't know what quote you are mentioning. It seems to me that that I have been quoted in different reactions on the same day. But let me say what I think, you know my thinking. I do think very much and very deeply that we have a UN Security Council Resolution 1244 that I am obliged to comply. As the Secretary General of NATO I will do my best that every solution is complied by everybody. As the solution you know it very well, it talks about the political process and on that lines, I would like to see people in Kosovo continue working. I think that is as far as we can go as members of the International Community until the Security Council Resolution changes. I will defend that Resolution and I think everybody should abide by it. On to you, you have been accompanied me for many, many months and I will continue seeing you I hope.
Question from Reuters: Following on of my colleague's question, I think some US officials told him last week they regarded Kosovo independence as inevitable. Do you share that view, and if you don't, what can be done to stop that happening.
Answer from Javier Solana - NATO Secretary General: I don't know what officials from different countries have been saying or what they have expressed. I can tell you that I have been in New York these days and talked to many people you know in the UN, but also in the US government, and I haven't seen any change from the negotiations that I have just described in answering the previous question. That is what I have heard and that is what everybody continues working for.
Question from (inaudible) agency in Stokholm: The basis for the KFOR mission is to provide security for the whole society, the multi-ethnical society. But to keep these groups secure you have to keep them divided, how long will this paradox go on and how do you comment this.
Answer from Javier Solana - NATO Secretary General: Well, I feel
its very important to have a sense of time. The situation is evolving,
is evolving at a very fast past in the right direction, if you look at
any other experiences not very far away from here and not for much time
back. So I think we have to continue maintaining the spirit that KFOR
is maintaining and I am sure that there will be overcoming of difficulties.
But, we cannot intend to create a situation of absolute changed in 24
hours, that is impossible, and as I said, look around and you will see
that the situation in Kosovo compared to other situations, is going faster
and in a more solid manner that is what I would like to say. And thanks
to a great extent to General Jackson, his people and to Dr Kouchner. Thank
you very much I will see you soon.