EU Condemns Explosion At Kosovo Envoy's Office
November 14, 2008 BRUSSELS (AFP)
The European Union condemned late Friday a blast at its envoy's office in Kosovo, but said it was determined to press ahead with its controversial police and justice mission there. "The presidency of the European Council firmly condemns the attack on Friday evening in front of the office of the European Union special representative to Kosovo," said a statement from France, which holds the rotating E.U. presidency. The presidency "reaffirms the determination of the European Union to work toward establishing the rule of law in Kosovo for the benefit of its entire population, through the European police and justice mission," it said.
The explosive device was thrown into the courtyard of the International Civilian Office run by E.U. special envoy Pieter Feith of the Netherlands in Pristina at around 5:30 p.m. (1630 GMT), a Kosovo police spokesman said. Kosovo's ethnic Albanian leaders in February unilaterally declared independence from Serbia, which has refused to accept the secession. More than 50 states, including the U.S. and most E.U. members, have recognized Kosovo's independence.
The explosion came as the E.U. hopes to see its 2,000-strong police and justice mission in Kosovo, called EULEX, become fully operational next month.
Kosovar authorities have rejected a deal between Serbia and the E.U. on the deployment of the force in Serb-dominated areas, saying the arrangement goes against Kosovo's sovereignty.
Under the deal, which must be approved by the U.N. Security Council, the EULEX presence in Kosovo wouldn't imply a recognition of its independence. The U.S. and European allies have launched an intense diplomatic effort to convince Kosovo to support the agreement.