UN to name German as head of Kosovo mission

14th August 2006, Comments 0 comments

14 August 2006, NEW YORK - A German national was to be named Monday to head the UN mission in Kosovo, amid critical negotiations to decide the political future of the Serb province. Joachim Ruecker will replace Danish diplomat Soren Jessen- Petersen, who stepped down in June for personal reasons. Reucker's appointment was made by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and the announcement was to be made by a spokesman at UN headquarters in New York. Ruecker was in charge of reconstruction and economic development

14 August 2006

NEW YORK - A German national was to be named Monday to head the UN mission in Kosovo, amid critical negotiations to decide the political future of the Serb province.

Joachim Ruecker will replace Danish diplomat Soren Jessen- Petersen, who stepped down in June for personal reasons. Reucker's appointment was made by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and the announcement was to be made by a spokesman at UN headquarters in New York.

Ruecker was in charge of reconstruction and economic development in Kosovo under Jessen-Petersen, and previously worked as deputy high representative of the international community in Bosnia from May 2001 to July 2002.

During Jessen-Petersen's term, Kosovo moved closer to becoming a full-fledged state through the transfer of authority from the UN mission in Kosovo, known as UNMIK, to local institutions.

UNMIK has been administering Kosovo since 1999, following NATO intervention that ousted Belgrade's security forces from the province and ended repression of Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority.

The province has since been in diplomatic limbo, as Serbia insists on retaining sovereignty over Kosovo, while the dominant Albanian population has impatiently been expecting full independence.

The resolution of Kosovo's future political status has drawn nearer this year, with the launch of UN-brokered direct talks between Belgrade and Pristina.

The talks, led by UN mediator Marrti Ahtisaari, produced no progress yet toward a mutually acceptable compromise after eight rounds. Both sides remain riveted to their original positions, raising the prospect of an imposed solution.

DPA

Subject: German news

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