In a ceremony today in Pristina, supervision of Kosovo’s independence formally ended.
Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle issued the following statement in Berlin today:
The fact that Kosovo’s supervised independence ends today is an important step forward for Kosovo and shows that the international efforts have been successful. Kosovo has met key democratic requirements and made progress in the protection of minority rights.
The German Government will continue to actively support the process of state consolidation in Kosovo. Strengthening ties with the EU as well as normalizing relations between Serbia and Kosovo, including durable stability in northern Kosovo, will remain the priorities.
The proposal by former Finnish President Martii Ahtisaari, drawn up on behalf of the Security Council in 2007, combined far-reaching autonomous rights for the Serbian communities in Kosovo with international supervision of Kosovo’s independence. In particular, the Ahtisaari Plan provides for the protection of the rights of the non Albanian minorities, the strengthening of local self-government and the protection of Serbian-Orthodox sites. The formal ending of Kosovo’s supervised independence also sees the closure of the International Civilian Office in Kosovo, which was headed by Pieter Feith.