Serbia + 1 more

SRSG Kouchner Visits Mitrovica

Pristina - The Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Bernard Kouchner, today visited Mitrovica where he met with UNMIK, KFOR and local leaders to discuss the security situation and seek a solution to stem the violence that has erupted there.

"All extremists will be defeated. Those who want to blow the progress we have made, those who kill innocents, offering hatred to their people, will not succeed", the SRSG told journalists at a press conference at the UN headquarters in Mitrovica.

Dr. Kouchner immediately flew to Mitrovica this afternoon after returning early from a trip to Japan. He met with Regional Administrator, Mario Morcone, and the French KFOR Commander General, Pierre de Saqui de Sannes at KFOR heaquarters.

"I praise KFOR and the UNMIK police for their efforts, without which things could have been much worse," the SRSG said.

The SRSG also met with the UNMIK Police Regional Commander and the regional representatives of the OSCE and UNHCR at the UN headquarters before meeting with the Albanian leader, Dr. Bajram Rexhepi.

Before returning to Pristina, Dr. Kouchner returned to the French KFOR headquarters where he met with Serb leader Oliver Ivanovic.

The violence began last week after a UNHCR shuttle bus was hit by an anti-tank missile, killing two Serbs. Dr. Kouchner condemned what he called a "cowardly, disgusting unacceptable attack on the bus that has sparked the violence in Mitrovica."

For information only - not an official record

Contact UNMIK Press and Information Office - (381-38) 500-223, ext. 5719.