Sun, 16 May 2021

UNITED NATIONS, April 13 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese envoy on Tuesday called for the resumption of dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade as soon as possible.

The Kosovo issue is essential to peace and stability in the Balkans and in Europe as a whole. It is important that Serbia and Kosovo work within the framework of Security Council Resolution 1244 to find a solution acceptable to both parties through dialogue and consultation. In this process, Serbia's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity should be fully respected, said Geng Shuang, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations.

Due to political turmoil in Kosovo, dialogue between the two sides has been stalled since December 2020. China looks forward to the resumption of dialogue as soon as possible and appreciates the willingness on the part of Serbia for talks, he told the Security Council.

The results of the previous dialogues must also be implemented. Kosovo should follow the Brussels Agreement and make effective efforts as early as possible to promote community building in Serb-majority municipalities. As the coordinator of the Serbia-Kosovo relationship, the EU should play a facilitating role in this regard, he said.

Strengthening unity among ethnic groups is the only way to achieve peace and stability in Kosovo. COVID-19 poses a threat to the health of people of all ethnic groups in Kosovo, who should turn the fight against the virus into an important opportunity to strengthen unity and cooperation and achieve peaceful coexistence, he said.

According to the UN secretary-general's latest report on Kosovo, pandemic prevention and control was relaxed during the political turmoil and the number of infections increased sharply. When Serbia provided vaccines to areas in Kosovo inhabited by Kosovo Serbs, the Kosovo authorities reacted strongly, which came as a surprise, said Geng.

"The international community should make sure that vaccines are fairly distributed and vaccine gaps eliminated. It also should make sure that there are no man-made obstacles to vaccination. We should reach as many people as possible without any barriers. Extensive vaccination should be done in a way that helps mutual trust among all ethnic groups," he said.

China appreciates the work done by the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). China supports UNMIK's continued efforts to perform its duties and calls on relevant parties to fully protect the safety of UN personnel and create favorable conditions for UNMIK to perform its duties, said Geng.

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