April 07, 2003

ERP KIM Newsletter 07-04-03

SHIEDER: ADMISSION OF SERBIA-MONTENEGRO TO COUNCIL OF EUROPE APPLIES TO KOSOVO CITIZENS TOO

Peter Schieder (right), the President of the COE Parliamentary Assembly  explained that admission of Serbia-Montenegro to the Council of Europe applies to her citizens in Kosovo too. (Left:) Serb-Montenegrin Foreign Minister Goran Svilanovic and (center) Svetozar Marovic, president of the Union of Serbia-Montenegro MORE


KOSOVO PM PROTESTS OVER ACCESSION OF SERBIA-MONTENEGRO TO COE
Bajram Rexhepi: Our institutions will pledge their loyalty once Kosovo is admitted to the Council of Europe

SCHIEDER: ADMISSION TO COE APPLIES TO KOSOVO CITIZENS TOO
I hope that the Serb-Montenegrin parliamentary delegation will represent Kosovo citizens in the COE Parliament too, says Peter Schieder, President of the COE Parliament.

APPEAL FOR RALLY AGAINST TRANSFER OF AUTHORITIES
On Wednesday, April 9, a rally will be held in Gracanica against Steiner's decision to transfer authorities from UNMIK to temporary Kosovo institutions


BELOS AND RADOSAVLJEVIC VISITED SERB RETURNEES IN NOVAKE VILLAGE
Coordination Center and the Government of Serbia will send humanitarian aid and assistance in agricultural and other machines to the Serb returnees in Novake

MILAN IVANOVIC: SERBS WILL HAVE TO CREATE THEIR OWN ARMY
Transfer of authorities, according to Ivanovic's assessment, is not part of the mandate given to UNMIK by the UN Security Council because before settlement of the final status UN Mission in Kosovo is obliged to establish substantial autonomy and provide peaceful living for all residents of Kosovo. If Steiner does not refrain from this idea Ivanovic expects destabilization of the situation in Kosovo. He said that "Serbs will have to organize themselves and establish their own army to defend their endangered security and freedom".

AP: SERB LEADER THREATENS TO FORM A NEW ARMY
Under the U.N. plan, power over military and security matters, the judiciary, foreign policy and international trade would remain with international authorities. The plan has angered Serb leaders, who argue any transfer of power would take Kosovo one step closer to full independence. The province's ethnic Albanian majority wants independence, but it is bitterly opposed by the Serbs. They want the province to remain part of Serbia and Montenegro, the successor to Yugoslavia.

MINISTER TODOROVIC ACCUSED STEINER OF SIDING WITH ALBANIANS
Todorovic said that by doing so Steiner was leveling debts toward Albanian politicians and was trying to save face before the Albanian community for the failure of his mission prior to leaving.

COVIC BLAMES STEINER FOR CRISIS AND RADICALISM IN KOSOVO-METOHIJA

Unless we do our best this year, we shall be faced with a huge crisis and radicalism in Kosovo-Metohija, Covic says

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KOSOVO PM PROTESTS OVER ACCESSION OF SERBIA-MONTENEGRO TO COUNCIL OF EUROPE

Bajram Rexhepi:
Our institutions will pledge their loyalty once Kosovo is admitted to the Council of Europe

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BETA
April 5, 2003

(photo: Kosovo's Premier Bajram Rexhepi)

PRISTINA -- Saturday – The prime minister of Kosovo has written to the Council Europe expressing concern over the admission of Serbia-Montenegro to the Council.

"This will encourage Belgrade’s destructive policy on Kosovo," Bajram Rexhepi said in his letter to Peter Schieder, chairman of the Council’s Parliamentary Assembly.

Rexhepi also warned that the federal state’s admission in no way impinged on Kosovo.

"Our institutions will pledge their loyalty once Kosovo is admitted to the Council of Europe," he said.

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SCHIEDER: ADMISSION TO THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE APPLIES TO CITIZENS OF KOSOVO TOO

I hope that the Serb-Montenegrin parliamentary delegation will represent Kosovo citizens in the COE Parliament too, says Peter Schieder, President of the COE Parliament.

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FONET, Belgrade
April 7, 2003

(photo: from left to right - Foreign Minister Goran Svilanovic, President of Serbia-Montenegro Svetozar Marovic and Peter Schieder President of the COE Parliamentary Assembly)

Belgrade - President of the COE Parliamentary Assembly Peter Schieder said that admission of Serbia-Montenegro to the Council of Europe applies to all citizens of the country, including the citizens of Kosovo.

"We hope that they will enjoy all rights which are contained in the European Convention on human rights and that they will have access to the European Court for Human Rights. I also hope that the Serb-Montenegrin parliamentary delegation will represent citizens of Kosovo in the COE Parliament too. As we understand this issue, beside the presence of the international community in Kosovo, I hope that the international representatives will be wise enough to allow them to use benefits which are granted by the membership in the Council of Europe, said Schieder.

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APPEAL FOR RALLY AGAINST TRANSFER OF AUTHORITIES

On Wednesday, April 9, a rally will be held in Gracanica against Steiner's decision to transfer authorities from UNMIK to temporary Kosovo institutions

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SRNA
April 5, 2003

(photo: one of the meetings of Serb National Council in Gracanica)

GRACANICA - Serbian National Council of Central Kosovo, representatives of the several Serb political parties employed in the local communities and the POVRATAK Coalition deputies decided in Gracanica today to organize a rally against decision of the UN administrator of Kosovo Michael Steiner to transfer authorities from UNMIK to temporary Kosovo institutions. The rally will be held on Wednesday, April 9, in the center of Gracanica (near Pristina).

After the meeting a public appeal was made to all Serbs, regardless of their political affiliation to gather in Gracanica on Wednesday and thus give their contribution in preventing Steiner to transfer authorities.

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BELOS AND RADOSAVLJEVIC VISITED SERB RETURNEES IN NOVAKE VILLAGE

Coordination Center and the Government of Serbia will send humanitarian aid and assistance in agricultural and other machines to the Serb returnees in Novake

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SRNA
April 5, 2003

(photo: a photo of the destroyed village of Novake in June 1999, Reuters)

PRIZREN - 56 Serbs, representatives of their households, have already returned to Novake village near Prizren. With the assistance of the German KFOR and the German NGO "ARC" reconstruction of 10 and building of 61 houses has already begun. By the end of summer approximately 600 Serbs are expected to return to Novake.

Serb returnees in this village were visited today by the representative of the Coordination center Committee for returns Mrs. Ljiljana Belos and the Coordinator for the returns in the Kosovo Government Mr. Nenad Radosavljevic. Ljiljana Belos announced that the Coordination Center and the Government of Serbia will send humanitarian aid and assistance in agricultural and other machines to the Serb returnees in the following days. In the name of Kosovo Government and the Coordination Center Nenad Radosavljevic emphasised importance of the Serbian return to Novake because from their return and survival depends return of other 20.000 Serbs expelled from the Prizren area.

That is why UNMIK's priority is to provide full security. On the other hand, priorities of the Serbian Government and the Coordination center are granting full assistance and creation of conditions for the return of all interested Serbs to this village - said Belos and Radosavljevic.

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MILAN IVANOAVIC: SERBS WILL HAVE TO CREATE THEIR OWN ARMY

Transfer of authorities, according to Ivanovic's assessment is not part of the mandate given to UNMIK by the UN Security Council because before settlement of the final status UN Mission in Kosovo is obliged to establish substantial autonomy and provide peaceful living for all residents of Kosovo. If Steiner does not refrain from this idea Ivanovic expects destabilization of the situation in Kosovo. He said that "Serbs will have to organize themselves and establish their own army to defend their endangered security and freedom"

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BETA
April 5, 2003

(photo: Dr. Milan Ivanovic, the leader of the Serb National Council - North Kosovo)

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA - The leader of the Serbian National Council for North Kosovo Milan Ivanovic expressed his expectation that Serb deputies will leave Kosovo temporary institutions and appealed to the Belgrade authorities to request change of UNMIK's chief Michael Steiner. The result of the yesterday's meeting in Belgrade, in which Steiner refused request of the Serbian Government to slow down the process of transfer of authorities to Kosovo institutions, was expected, said Milan Ivanovic to BETA Agency.

Transfer of authorities, according to his assessment, is not part of the mandate given to UNMIK by the UN Security Council because before settlement of the final status UN Mission in Kosovo is obliged to establish substantial autonomy and provide peaceful living for all residents of Kosovo. If Steiner does not refrain from this idea Ivanovic expects destabilization of the situation in Kosovo. He said that "Serbs will have to organize themselves and establish their own army to defend their endangered security and freedom".

"Transfer of authorities will bring about destabilization of the situation in Kosovo which has been demonstrated at the rally of several thousands of residents of Kosovska Mitrovica who refused Steiner's proposal", said Ivanovic. The leader of the SNC thinks that "Steiner is manipulating and gives incorrect interpretation of the transfer of authorities". "He announces an increased role of 'Kosovars' in operative rule, but when he says 'Kosovars' he means Albanians". Ivanovic explained that although Steiner says that authorities regarding defense will not be transferred, it is planned that Kosovo police will be granted an increased role on the borders. There are also plans to establish Kosovo Police Force units for "close protection and security", said Ivanovic.


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SERB LEADER THREATENS TO FORM NEW ARMY

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Associated Press
Sun Apr 6, 3:48 AM ET

By ALEKSANDAR VASOVIC, Associated Press Writer

(photo: Dr. Ivanovic speaking at the rally in Mitrovica last week)

BELGRADE, Serbia-Montenegro - A hardline Serb leader in Kosovo threatened to form a guerrilla army if the United Nations goes forward with a plan to grant more power to institutions run predominantly by ethnic Albanians.

The top U.N. official in Kosovo, Michael Steiner, said recently his administration would transfer some authority to local institutions as part of an effort to build democracy in the U.N.-run province.

Hardline Serb leader Milan Ivanovic told Belgrade's Beta news agency on Saturday that "implementation of such a plan would destabilize Kosovo and it would lead to conflicts."

"I am afraid that Kosovo Serbs would have to form their own army and defend themselves and their freedom," he was quoted as saying.

Under the U.N. plan, power over military and security matters, the judiciary, foreign policy and international trade would remain with international authorities.

The plan has angered Serb leaders, who argue any transfer of power would take Kosovo one step closer to full independence.

The province's ethnic Albanian majority wants independence, but it is bitterly opposed by the Serbs. They want the province to remain part of Serbia and Montenegro, the successor to Yugoslavia.

Simon Haselock, the chief U.N. spokesman in Kosovo, condemned Ivanovic's statements.

"Any language from whatever quarter it comes about violence and conflict is unacceptable," he said, adding the transfer was a central part of the U.N. mission's mandate to establish "substantial autonomy and self-governance."

"You can't have autonomy without transferring power," he said.

Another Kosovo Serb leader, Oliver Ivanovic, a moderate politician not related to Milan Ivanovic, dismissed the hardline leader's claims as "ridiculous and dangerous."

"We will try to protect our interests within Kosovo institutions," he said. "However, that is getting increasingly difficult mainly because of Steiner's plans."

On Friday, top officials in Serbia, including Prime Minister Zoran Zivkovic and his deputy in charge of Kosovo, Nebojsa Covic, urged Steiner not to implement the plan.

Steiner acknowledged there was a disagreement but insisted he only acted as directed by the U.N. Security Council.

The U.N. resolution that removed Belgrade's authority over Kosovo tasks the international community with setting up local institutions and transferring power to these when appropriate. The resolution leaves the final status of Kosovo open.

Kosovo has been run by the United Nations and NATO since 1999 after allied bombing ended a Serb crackdown against independence-minded ethnic Albanians.

More than 200,000 Serbs fled Kosovo for other parts of Serbia following the 1999 war, fearing revenge attacks by ethnic Albanians. The 100,000 Serbs who remain mostly live in isolated enclaves guarded by NATO peacekeepers.

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MINISTER TODOROVIC ACCUSED STEINER OF SIDING WITH ALBANIANS

Todorovic said that by doing so Steiner was leveling debts toward Albanian politicians and was trying to save face before the Albanian community for the failure of his mission prior to leaving.

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Radio Yugoslavia
April 6, 2003

Milorad Todorovic, coordinating minister in the Kosovo Assembly assessed, following the latest statements by the head of UNMIK, Michael Steiner, that it was obvious that Steiner was siding with the Albanians.

Explaining why Steiner has been making decisions which are in breach of UN Resolution 1244, Todorovic said that by doing so Steiner was levelling debts toward Albanian politicians and was trying to save face before the Albanian community for the failure of his mission prior to leaving. Steiner is a diplomat and is using the war in Iraq, aware that Germany will not turn their back on him as he comes from that country, and that the US will not work against transitory provincial institutions since they took part in their creation, Todorovic said.


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COVIC BLAMES STEINER FOR CRISIS AND RADICALISM IN KOSOVO AND METOHIJA

Unless we do our best this year, we shall be faced with a huge crisis and radicalism in Kosovo-Metohija

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Radio Yugoslavia
April 6, 2003

(photo: Deputy Premier of Serbia Dr. Nebojsa Covic)

Unless we do our best this year, we shall be faced with a huge crisis and radicalism in Kosovo-Metohija, and the person most blamed for this will be UN’s special envoy Michael Steiner, said Nebojsa Covic, the head of the Coordination Centre for Kosovo-Metohija.

He announced that the UN Security Council session on Kosovo, scheduled for April 23, would renounce UNMIK and KFOR statements that the situation in Kosovo-Metohija is stable as untrue.

An independent Kosovo is out of the question as this would mean the changing of frontiers in the region, said Covic, adding that some Albanian leaders tried to negotiate, not so long ago, the status of Kosovo but the negotiations failed.

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ERP KIM Info-Service is the official Information Service of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizren and works with the blessing of His Grace Bishop Artemije.
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