KFOR And UNMIK: We Do Not Like Your Border!!!

Macedonian Government is shocked by the statement of the US Brigadier General Keith Huber and the allegations reported in it and an explanation from the UN is already requested, Macedonian Government Spokesperson, Gjorgji Trendafilov, stated Wednesday for MIA.

He stressed that "such statements are only supported by those that have caused the armed conflicts in Macedonia in order to continue with the incidents."

Brigadier General Keith Huber, the KFOR Commander of the Multinational Brigade East, stated at the press conference in Gnjilane last week that the agreement between Skopje and Belgrade for correction and re-defining of the border is "illegal." The General added that the UN Secretary-General has also confirmed this. According to Fakti daily in Albanian language, which has reported Huber's statement, the US General was concerned that the agriculturists from Kosovo have landed from the Macedonian side of the border and were not able to cultivate it. In the statement for the Kosovo media he said that he will send his troops to secure the agriculturists.

The Macedonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also finds the statements of some KFOR and UNMIK officials in regard to the Macedonian-Yugoslav Agreement on Border Delineation as unacceptable and ungrounded.

In a press release on Wednesday, the Ministry says it is an agreement, signed by two sovereign countries-the UN members, and is based on the Agreement for Regulating and Upgrading of the Macedonian-Yugoslav relations of April 8, 1996, in compliance with the UN Charter, respecting the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independency. According to the final provisions, the Agreement officially entered into force on June 16, 2001, i.e. thirty days after exchanging of the ratification instruments.

The negotiations, starting in 1996, were completed by signing of the Border Delineation Agreement on February 23, 2001, in Skopje. The document was welcomed in the final document of the Skopje Summit of Heads of State and Government of the member countries of SEE Cooperation Process, also attended by the NATO Secretary General, the Euro-Commissioner for External Relations and the Stability Pact Coordinator.

The Agreement, as real contribution to building of friendly neighborly relations, peace, security, stability and cooperation in Southeastern Europe, was also welcomed by statements of the UN Security Council and of the EU Presidency.

All of the UN member countries, particularly the UN missions, are obliged to respect the UN Security Council Resolution 1244, which, among other things, confirms the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the FR Yugoslavia and of other countries in the region, in compliance with the OSCE Helsinki document in respect of the existing borders.

The Resolution, which is also an obligatory document for the UN missions, does not consist provisions that grant a right to the KFOR and UNMIK official in Kosovo to interpret resolutions in a manner that raise new tensions in the region, endangering the sovereignty and territorial integrity of both countries-the UN members.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs considers that such ungrounded statements are harmful, because they are not in compliance with the missions' mandate, and do not contribute to establishing of lasting stability in the region. All of the UN Security Council and General Assembly Resolutions on developments in SEE, affirm the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries in the region.

On behalf of the Macedonian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ilievski and Ruzin filed a protest regarding the statements of US KFOR General Keith Hubert and UNMIK spokesman Andrea Angeli on challenging of the legitimacy of the Macedonian-Yugoslav border, in Kosovo.

Ilievski said that the statements of those KFOR and UNMIK representatives were not a reflection of the real situation regarding this issue, i.e. they are not in accordance with the Agreement on the Macedonian-Yugoslav Border Delineation, signed in February 2001. Such statements do not contribute to the stabilization of Macedonia, and are not in the spirit of the official positions of the UN, EU, NATO and other relevant international factors, which welcomed the signed agreement between Macedonia and the FR Yugoslavia.

Spechard expressed readiness for investigating this matter, saying that according to the NATO policy, representatives of the Alliance should not make any statements that will have unfavorable effects upon calming of the situation in Macedonia.

"The US Embassy in Macedonia is not competent to say whether the bilateral agreement is valid," the US acting Ambassador to Macedonia, Lawrence Butler said on Wednesday, answering the question "whether he recognizes the border between Macedonia and Yugoslavia, from Kosovo part of the border."

"USA recognizes the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Republic of Macedonia. We are here and we cooperate closely and carefully with the Macedonian Government, the security forces and the Macedonian police," Butler said.

Regarding the agreement, he said that although he works for the US Embassy, "they are not competent to solve complicated matters, such as the border between Macedonia and Yugoslavia." Butler said that in order to answer the question he should search on the matter and should consult the legal experts in Washington, but "at the end of the day US is not the one that should say whether the agreement is valid."

REALITY MACEDONIA http://www.realitymacedonia.org.mk

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