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Ban Ki moon welcomes the elections in Kosovo

Ban Ki-moon expressed his expectation that the upcoming elections to be held on November 3 will “uphold the highest democratic standards and show full respect for the diversity of the population’s views.” Mr. Ban also called on all parties concerned to show determination and “ensure inclusive elections, free of intimidation and violence.” In a written statement issued in New York, the UN chief said he “firmly believes that free and fair elections this Sunday will constitute a milestone in the strengthening of peace and security in Kosovo.”   “The Secretary-General strongly encourages the widest possible participation,” the UN statement reads. Elections in Kosovo this Sunday are called the key one by experts. UN said, Mr. Ban himself followed all the important preparations for the Kosovo municipal elections.

The elections will be closely watched in particularly for the turnout of its minority Serb population. It is also said that the November 3rd election is a vital step in Serbia's bid to move significantly forward the European Union.

At the same time recognition of Kosovo as an independent state which is still bitterly opposed by the authorities in Belgrade, remains the main stumbling block in Serbia's membership process in the EU. Out of 28 EU member states only Cyprus, Greece, Portugal, Romania and Spain did not recognize the Republic of Kosovo.

Turkey was the first to recognize the state independence of Kosovo declared in February, 2008. Over 100 UN member states recognized Kosovo so far.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is the only state from former Yugoslavia who still did not recognize Kosovo because of political blockade by Bosnian Serbs within the Bosnian state institutions when it comes to that issue.

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