China concerned over "obstruction" encountered by UN personnel in Kosovo: envoy

2019-11-01 03:27:47 GMT2019-11-01 11:27:47(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese UN envoy on Thursday said China is "gravely concerned" about the obstruction encountered by UN personnel in Kosovo in the course of mandate delivery.

Chinese Deputy Permanent Representative to United Nations Wu Haitao made the remarks at a Security Council meeting on the Kosovo issue, in reference to the arrests of two staff members of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).

The arrests took place in the course of a Kosovo police operation targeting smuggling and organized crime in May.

Wu said independent investigations have proved that the UNMIK personnel were threatened and their performance for duty obstructed.

He said the council should call upon relevant parties to fully respect the privileges and immunities of UN personnel and effectively ensure their safety and security.

"It will be conducive to upholding the council's authority, and more importantly, conducive to the political settlement of the Kosovo issue," he said.

At the same meeting, UNMIK head Zahir Tanin said the investigation team found no evidence to support accusations of wrongdoing by the two UNMIK staff members and that both were on official duty when they were arrested.

The team also found substantial evidence of the use of excessive force by Kosovo Police against the UNMIK staff members, he added.

At the end of the Kosovo War in 1999, Kosovo, a Serbian province dominated by ethnic Albanians, was placed under transitional UN administration by the Security Council. It declared independence from Serbia in February 2008. Kosovo's independence is partially recognized by the international community.