Prishtina, 6 September 2004 – SRSG Søren Jessen-Petersen and President Ibrahim Rugova inaugurated on Saturday the UNMIK Rail Cargo Terminal at a ceremony in Fushë Kosovë.
“UNMIK Railways is working for Kosovo’s future”, the SRSG said “the new Cargo Terminal is a strong sign of this. “The new Rail Cargo Terminal with its container transportation system will create new business for UNMIK Railways, and will offer the people of Kosovo new ways for cargo transportation. A step forward in adapting UNMIK Railways to a market economy and regional economic integration.”
Mr. Jessen-Petersen noted that UNMIK Railways has a unique position within Kosovo – with 20% of the workforce coming from different minorities, passengers from all communities, and with operations throughout Kosovo, UNMIK Railways is a strong example of how a multiethnic Kosovo can be a success. “The Freedom of Movement Train, initiated in 2001, plays an important role in ensuring this multi-ethnicity. It links Kosovo together offering transportation not only for minorities but for the whole population of Kosovo.”
UNMIK Railways is for the time being dependent on donor contribution. Both the SRSG and the President expressed today their strong gratitude to SIDA, The Swedish Government Aid organisation for amongst others the donation of passenger coaches, and the EAR, European Agency for Reconstruction, which financed improvements and donated the Rail Cargo Terminal and the enormous container lift.
UNMIK Railways currently has a network of 333 km and expects to launch intercity services in close cooperation with neighbouring railways in Serbia & Montenegro and FYROM. This will one day bring international passenger trains on the line Skopje-Kosovo-Belgrade.