Donors pledge 1.2 bln euros for Kosovo 2008-07-12 05:54:58   Print

    BRUSSELS, July 11 (Xinhua) -- An international donors' conference has garnered more than 1 billion euros for Kosovo, the European Commission (EC) announced here on Friday.

    "Pledges have been made today for 1.2 billion euros (1.9 billion U.S. dollars)," EC official Pierre Mirel told a joint press conference after the meeting ended, more than half of the 2.23 billion dollars Kosovo requested.

    "The conference has been a great success," he added, as the conference had expected 1 billion euros (1.58 billion U.S. dollars) for Kosovo to build up its struggling economy and infrastructure in the three years to come.

    The European Union pledged 500 million euros, while the United States announced 400 million dollars. Germany offered 100 million euros, the biggest offer among the 27-nation bloc.

    The EU, which advocated the one-day conference, urged the Kosovo authorities to use the fund in a transparent way.

    "Our pledge today is an expression of our trust, but implementation remains an outstanding issue. We are waiting to seethe results," EU Enlargement Commission Olli Rehn noted at the opening of the conference.

    "I am sure that the Kosovo authorities know that they have to make the promises materialize for all people in Kosovo ensuring that every euro spent is accounted for and put to good use."

    For his side, Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci promised to use the fund in a fair way.

    "The government of Kosovo pledge to continue good governance," he said, adding that "development funds are never wasted nor leaked into the wrong hands."

    Kosovo, a Serbian province that unilaterally announced independence in February amid strong opposition from Serbia and Russia, is one of the poorest place in Europe with unemployment rate at about 40 percent.

    All the EU member states have attended the EU-advocated donors' conference, but none of the seven states, including Spain, that have not recognize Kosovo offered any aid.

    So far, only 43 nations recognized it, mostly Western nations. 

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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