Meeting of the Contact Group on Macedonia and the western Balkans: Communique of the Contact Group

Report
from Government of Italy
Published on 11 Apr 2001


Paris, 11 April 2001

Conclusions

The Contact Group met at ministerial level on 11th April 2001 in Paris. This meeting took place at a significant moment for the future of the Balkans. The Contact Group reaffirmed its determination to continue playing its full role in the interest of stability and security in the region.

Democratic changes in the region, particularly in Croatia and in the FRY, represent major steps forwards. Such progress must continue respecting international borders, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Democracy and the rule of law, regional reconciliation and cooperation, on the one hand, and rapprochement with Europe, on the other, are inextricably linked.

There is no place for all those who use violence, espouse extremism, resort to terrorism, create tension, defy international legality and try to oppose democratisation and reconciliation.

We are determined to intensify our efforts to fight against organized crime in all its aspects.

Everyone has a responsibility for the stability of the region and must contribute to it.

FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA

  • Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia's borders, territorial integrity and sovereignty must be respected.
  • all, including Kosovo Albanians, must vigorously condemn violent action and isolate the extremist armed formations which remain in and around Macedonian borders.
  • We encourage the Macedonian authorities to continue to show restraint in response to extremist attacks.
  • KFOR will continue to strengthen controls between Kosovo and Macedonia.
  • signing the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the European Union and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on the 9th April, demonstrates support for Macedonia. We encourage the macedonian authorities and all political parties to further consolidate a multiethnic society through reforms and dialogue, particularly in the framework of the "all party Europe Committee".

FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA
  • the consolidation of democracy must be encouraged. We support measures by the authorities in Belgrade towards reform and the rule of law and respect for human and minority rights.
  • All indictees must be held accountable for their acts. Milosevic's arrest is an important step by the FRY authorities in that direction. We note with satisfaction the readiness of the authorities in Belgrade to continue on the path towards full cooperation with ICTY.
  • we support efforts to find a peaceful and lasting solution to the crisis in Southern Serbia, in particular the implementation of confidence-building measures as set out in the "Covic plan".

KOSOVO
  • UNSCR 1244 remains the basis for building Kosovo's future.
  • Under the authority of UNSRSG, the legal framework for self-government, pursuant to UNSCR 1244, must be completed. The prospect of Kosovo-wide elections this year, for which UNMIK and OSCE should work together, is a key factor for the democratic process in Kosovo and the stability of the region. To this end, secure conditions for the elections should be ensured. The participation of all communities in the elections, the return of refugees and the participation of refugees and displaced persons must be encouraged. Dialogue between the UNSRSG and Belgrade should continue.
  • UNMIK and KFOR will pursue their determined action against extremists. We urge the early promulgation of an UNMIK Regulation against extremists.

MONTENEGRO
  • we support an early resumption of the dialogue between Belgrade and Podgorica aiming at an agreed redefinition of their relations, according to democratic principles and in a way that will ensure the stability of the region. We support a democratic Montenegro within a democratic Yugoslavia.
  • such a process, which excludes unilateral actions, would enable the international community to continue its political, economic and financial support to Montenegro.

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
  • the Dayton Agreements must be fully implemented.
  • we support the democratically elected authorities at State and entity level. We condemn vigorously those who violate the Constitution and who launch attacks against international presence, civilian as well as military. Thus we strongly deplore the incidents which occurred in Mostar a few days ago. We support the actions taken by the High Representative and SFOR in this respect.
  • we encourage the High Representative to submit proposals aimed at improving the coordination and efficiency of the international community's actions in the civilian field.