World responds to Kosovo's declaration of independence

2008-02-18 22:00:59 CCTV

 

The legality of Kosovo's independence remains a controversy among world powers.

China has expressed grave concern. Its Foreign Ministry says Kosovo's unilateral act could lead to seriously negative influences on peace and stability in the Balkan region, and for the building of a multi-ethnic society in Kosovo.

Russia backs its ally Serbia, citing that Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence violates a 1999 resolution authorizing the UN to administer the region.

The US, Britain and other EU members are in support of Kosovo's independence. Last year, UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari recommended Kosovo be granted internationally supervised independence.

Ban Ki-Moon, said, UN Secretary General, said, "I call on all sides to reaffirm and act upon their commitments to refrain from any actions or statement that could endanger peace and incite violence or jeopardize security in Kosovo and the region."

Vitaly Churkin, Russian UN Ambassador, said, "I spelled out our position. I think the important thing is we have heard from the Secretary General today, as I mentioned, is that he confirmed 1244 remains in force and that the head of UNMIK continues to have the overall authority in Pristina. Those are two very important statements to us."

John Sawers, UK Ambassador to UN, said, "Anything that we, the United Kingdom, and our European Union partners do will be in conformity with 1244. But there is nothing in 1244 that rules out a recognition of an independent Kosovo."

Alejandro Wolff, US Deputy Ambassador to UN, said, "I am pleased to see that the Kosovar authorities have reaffirmed their commitments to the far-reaching Ahtisaari plan and in particular the protection of ethnic minorities in Kosovo."