President Sejdiu awarded the Golden Medal of Independence to Ambassador Rohan

The President of the Republic of Kosovo, Dr. Fatmir Sejdiu, received today at a meeting Ambassador Albert Rohan, the former UN Deputy Special Envoy for Kosovo, whom he awarded with the Golden Medal of Independence.

During the award ceremony, President Sejdiu noted that he had taken this decision so that it can serve as a token of appreciation for the enormous role that Ambassador Rohan has played during the talks on our country’s political status and as a symbol of our profound acknowledgment and appreciation for his commitment to Kosovo.

I have decided to give this award to Ambassador Albert Rohan, who was a deputy to the UN Special Envoy for Kosovo, President Marti Ahtisaari, and a member of his team, for the enormous role that he has played in a long and difficult process of negotiations, for his contribution to finding the best formula for supporting Kosovo, for his official support to the independence of Kosovo in the international arena and for his respect of the will of our people and his sincere engagement in supporting the further growth and prosperity in the Republic of Kosovo at all stages” – President Sejdiu declared.

“In my capacity as President of our country, it is my privilege to hand over the Golden Medal of Independence to Mr. Rohan and I wish that this will serve as a token of our profound acknowledgment and appreciation for him” – President Sejdiu said while handing over the medal to Mr. Rohan.

In addition to this, President Sejdiu praised Ambassador Rohan’s friendliness towards all the people of Kosovo and his readiness to engage further in supporting Kosovo in the international arena and in ensuring Kosovo’s accession to international institutions and further recognitions of the Republic of Kosovo by other countries.

On the other hand, ambassador Rohan expressed his deep gratitude and appreciation to President Sejdiu, saying that the medal was a great honor for him.

“This medal is a great honor for me and it leads me to look back to almost 20 years of my involvement in Kosovo. My work in and for Kosovo didn’t start with the status process. I came here for the first time in the early 90s, almost 20 years ago, and that’s when I left my heart here” – Rohan said.

Ambassador Rohan said that he feels satisfied that his engagement has contributed to finding a solution to a longstanding problem.

“Looking at Kosovo today, we can see that we were successful. We are not blind to many problems which are still outstanding and the many challenges the country has still to face and we hope that all political forces of the country will stick together to overcome these problems” – Ambassador Rohan stressed out.

Further on, he said that Kosovo’s future is bright and expressed his belief that Kosovo will, sooner or later, become a part of the European Union.

“The future of Kosovo is bright and the future of Kosovo is, in my view, within the European Union and, sooner or later, we will find ourselves all in the European family and my wish is that this happens sooner rather than later” – he said.

The former UN Deputy Special Envoy for Kosovo also spoke of proceedings regarding the legality of the declaration of Kosovo’s independence due to take place soon at the International Court of Justice and the impact that these proceedings may have in further recognitions of Kosovo. He said that the Serbian government has used this process as a means to discourage other governments from recognizing Kosovo and to lay the emphasis on a verdict due to be rendered by the International Court of Justice.

“Many countries which hesitated have delayed the recognition and have said that they will wait for this half a year or so and then they’ll see. The problem for afterwards is that the decision of the International Court of Justice will not be very clear and the President of the court has said so. It will probably speak about certain principles of International Law. On the other hand, it will speak of political realities and, in the end, each side can say, well, our arguments are well-reflected in this decision. So, I can’t predict what will happen after this decision, but certainly this tough case and a decision to be expected by springtime or whenever holds up recognitions, I’m sure. Whether this decision will be formulated in such a way that the well-intentioned countries may say that now they can recognize Kosovo remains to be seen, depending on the wording of the court” – Mr. Rogan assessed.

Responding to a question posed by a journalist as to when will Kosovo become a member of UN, he said that, given Russia’s statements supporting the position of Serbia, this may happen when Serbia is ready to accept Kosovo’s independence and give up its resistance to UN membership.

During the press conference staged following the meeting with Mr. Rohan, President Sejdiu was asked by journalists whether the Serbian military base opened recently close to the border with Kosovo undermines the stability and safety in Kosovo. He said that this is nothing else but an expression of Serbia’s efforts to factorize her own appetites and her feelings and visions to become a director of developments in the South-East Europe, which is a role that he has neither had, nor will ever have.

“The time when Serbia maintained a hegemonic role in relation to other surrounding countries and which was followed by an irrational logic has gone. Kosovo is and must remain peaceful and any approach that aims at raising tensions is unacceptable to us. It is important that Kosovo enjoys a continuous support by the international community in terms of retaining safety in and integrity of our country. We will never be the ones to transmit negative signals. Rather, we will promote neighborliness between our two sovereign countries. However, we will never accept any logic that may eventually aim at threatening the sovereignty of our country” – President Sejdiu said.