September 13, 2003

ERP KIM Newsletter 13-09-03

IN EXPECTATION OF BELGRADE-PRISTINA NEGOTIATIONS

CONTENTS:

CONTINUED UN SC SUPPORT FOR KOSOVO "CRUCIAL" - UN OFFICIAL
12 September - Concerned by the mounting tensions and insecurity in Kosovo, a senior United Nations official today descried a number of violent attacks in the province during the past two months, primarily targeting Serbs, and said the continued support of the Security Council would be "crucial" to maintaining the rule of law.

SPECTATOR (UK) - HOW WE TRAINED AL-QAEDA  
Indeed, for all the Clinton officials' concern about Islamic extremists in the Balkans, they continued to allow the growth and movement of mujahedin forces in Europe through the 1990s. In the late 1990s, in the run-up to Clinton's and Blair's Kosovo war of 1999, the USA backed the Kosovo Liberation Army against Serbia. According to a report in the Jerusalem Post in 1998, KLA members, like the Bosnian Muslims before them, had been 'provided with financial and military support from Islamic countries', and had been 'bolstered by hundreds of Iranian fighters or mujahedin ...[some of whom] were trained in Osama bin Laden' s terrorist camps in Afghanistan'. It seems that, for all its handwringing, the USA just couldn't break the pact with the devil.

PRISTINA DIALOGUE DECISION ON SEPTEMBER 23
The time and place for the beginning of dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina will be set at the next meeting of the Contact Group on September 23, UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri told Kosovo Serb political leaders in Pristina yesterday.

SITUATION COMPLICATED, FIRST RESULTS SOON
The Council for State Security of Serbia evaluated that "the new escalation of terrorism, wounding and killing children, in addition to the threatening and persecution of the remained Serbs from Kosovo, also expresses a sign to the international community that would not be given up from the temporary goals of the Albanian terrorist, which can only lead towards destabilization of the security situation in the Balkan region".

ANALYSIS: US, NATO PLACED THEIR STAKE IN ALBANIAN SEPARATISM
-"The trouble is that the USA and NATO put their stakes in the Balkans on Albanian separatism," says Prof. Vladimir Volkov, a prominent Balkans expert and director of the Institute of Slavic Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences....Besides, NATO is still entertaining hopes of using Albanian separatism for putting pressure on maverick Balkan countries.

INET - KOSOVO AND METOHIJA FLASH NEWS, SEP 11
INET - KOSOVO AND METOHIJA FLASH NEWS, SEP 12

PERPETRATORS OF GORAZDEVAC MASSACRE STILL NOT ARRESTED - DAY 30...


More News Available on our:

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ERPKIM Editorial
Fr. Sava Janjic

In expectation of the beginning of Belgrade-Pristina dialogue on Kosovo and Metohija, the situation in the UN-administered southern province of Serbia is deteriorating. With escalation of violence in North Macedonia and continuation of ethnically motivated attacks on remaining Kosovo Serbs, Albanian extremists in the Balkans have demonstrated that they still have not relinquished their old dreams of reshaping the state borders of the Balkan states.

While ethnic Albanians normally and freely move through central Serbia and Montenegro, even opening their businesses in Belgrade, Kosovo Serbs still live an isolated life in their tiny enclaves in constant fear of new attacks on their children. Many Serb schools still have not started because parents have not received enough guarantees from KFOR that their children will be safe from extremists. Perpetrators of the recent massacres in Obilic and Gorazdevac have not been arrested yet despite constant promises by new UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri. The main reason for the unsuccessful investigations remains the "Albanian conspiracy of silence", which does not allow criminals to be brought to justice. Even those Albanians who do not see the future of Kosovo in violence and crime become targets of their extremist compatriots, like a Kosovo policeman recently killed in Djakovica, inhabeted solely by ethnic Albanians.

On the other hand, Kosovo Albanian political leaders have shown a complete lack of political responsibility in recent weeks. Instead of demonstating their sincere commitment to building a multiethnic society by visiting vulnerable communities and their Albanian neighbors, they continue sitting in their Pristina offices issuing sterile statements and lamenting the blurred image of Kosovo. In such a situation Kosovo Serbs have no other choice but to strengthen their ties with their government in Belgrade, which has recently demonstrated its clear committment to keep Kosovo within state borders and not to allow the creation of an ethnically clean Albanian banana republic.

In fact, the total lack of any kind of responsibility is becoming a chronic Kosovo disease that has not even spared the internationals, many of whom behave as if recurring acts of violence and murder are happening on some other continent and not in front of their own eyes. The policy of persistently ignoring the basic provisions of UNSC Res. 1244 must change; otherwise, the Province will slide even more toward chaos. Kosovo Serbs and their Governement in Belgrade therefore see the forthcoming negotiations as an opportunity to route the process of ethnic cleansing and repression, which has ruled Kosovo for the last four post-war years, toward full implementation of the UN SC Resolution and establishment of Kosovo as a substantial autonomy within the multiethnic state union of Serbia and Montenegro. The secession of the Province, which will inevitably lead to the final exodus of remaining Serbs and minorities, is simply not considered by any serious and responsible Serb leader to be an option for negotiations.


CONTINUED SECURITY COUNCIL SUPPORT FOR KOSOVO "CRUCIAL" - UN OFFICIAL

12 September - Concerned by the mounting tensions and insecurity in Kosovo, a senior United Nations official today descried a number of violent attacks in the province during the past two months, primarily targeting Serbs, and said the continued support of the Security Council would be "crucial" to maintaining the rule of law.
 

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UN NEWS CENTRE
September 12, 2003

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=8241&Cr=kosovo&Cr1=

12 September - Concerned by the mounting tensions and insecurity in Kosovo, a senior United Nations official today descried a number of violent attacks in the province during the past two months, primarily targeting Serbs, and said the continued support of the Security Council would be "crucial" to maintaining the rule of law.

In an open briefing on the situation in Kosovo, Hédi Annabi, Assistant-Secretary-General for UN Peacekeeping Operations, said the recent attacks had not only been directed at the Kosovo Serb community but at law enforcement authorities attached to the UN Mission in the province (UNMIK). Property used by the police and the judiciary, including an UNMIK police station, had been damaged in explosions and other attacks, he added.

No one had claimed responsibility for any of the attacks, Mr. Annabi noted, and the situation had prompted UNMIK and the international security force (KFOR) to reassess and enhance security measures. Some of the attacks had come after the conviction on 16 July of four former Kosovo Liberation Army members for war crimes committed primarily against fellow Kosovo Albanians during 1998 and 1999.

Regarding political developments, Mr. Annabi said that the Kosovo Assembly had reconvened last Thursday. Since July, the government had focused on legislative development and the security situation, but it had not taken up the initiation of direct dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina.

The Serbian Parliament, for its part, had endorsed a "Declaration on Kosovo and Metohija" at the end of August and adopted a resolution on the matter on 5 September, Mr. Annabi said, noting that Kosovo Albanian leaders had been critical of those documents, particularly the references to Kosovo's status. On 3 September, the Kosovo government had publicly expressed concern over the decision to adopt the Serbian declaration and stated its intention to build an independent state.

Mr. Annabi also pointed out that the new head of UNMIK, Harri Holkeri had reaffirmed the "standards before status" principle and its focus on progress towards achieving concrete benchmarks. Currently, Mr. Holkeri was overseeing the development of an operational plan for the implementation of the benchmarks, which was being drawn up jointly by UNMIK and the Kosovo Provisional Institutions. He was also planning to propose modalities for the dialogue between the provisional institutions and Belgrade, which should focus on concrete issues for the benefit of the people.

UNMIK would remain committed fully implementing Council resolution 1244 of 1999 - which called for the setting up of provisional self-government institutions in the war-ravaged province, and was working with all interlocutors to achieve progress on the benchmarks within the "standards before status" policy framework, Mr. Annabi said.

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SPECTATOR (UK) - HOW WE TRAINED AL-QA'AEDA

Indeed, for all the Clinton officials' concern about Islamic extremists in the Balkans, they continued to allow the growth and movement of mujahedin forces in Europe through the 1990s. In the late 1990s, in the run-up to Clinton's and Blair's Kosovo war of 1999, the USA backed the Kosovo Liberation Army against Serbia. According to a report in the Jerusalem Post in 1998, KLA members, like the Bosnian Muslims before them, had been 'provided with financial and military support from Islamic countries', and had been 'bolstered by hundreds of Iranian fighters or mujahedin ...[some of whom] were trained in Osama bin Laden' s terrorist camps in Afghanistan'. It seems that, for all its handwringing, the USA just couldn't break the pact with the devil.

http://www.spectator.co.uk/article.php3?table=old&section=current&issue=2003-09-13&id=3499&searchText=

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THE SPECTATOR (UK)

12 September 2003

Brendan O'Neill says the Bosnian war taught Islamic terrorists to operate abroad

For all the millions of words written about al-Qa'eda since the 9/11 attacks two years ago, one phenomenon is consistently overlooked - the role of the Bosnian war in transforming the mujahedin of the 1980s into the roving Islamic terrorists of today.

Many writers and reporters have traced al-Qa'eda and other terror groups' origins back to the Afghan war of 1979-1992, that last gasp of the Cold War when US-backed mujahedin forces fought against the invading Soviet army. It is well documented that America played a major role in creating and sustaining the mujahedin, which included Osama bin Laden's Office of Services set up to recruit volunteers from overseas. Between 1985 and 1992, US officials estimate that 12,500 foreign fighters were trained in bomb-making, sabotage and guerrilla warfare tactics in Afghan camps that the CIA helped to set up.

Yet America's role in backing the mujahedin a second time in the early and mid-1990s is seldom mentioned - largely because very few people know about it, and those who do find it prudent to pretend that it never happened. Following the Russian withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989 and the collapse of their puppet regime in 1992, the Afghan mujahedin became less important to the United States; many Arabs, in the words of the journalist James Buchan, were left stranded in Afghanistan 'with a taste for fighting but no cause'. It was not long before some were provided with a new cause. From 1992 to 1995, the Pentagon assisted with the movement of thousands of mujahedin and other Islamic elements from Central Asia into Europe, to fight alongside Bosnian Muslims against the Serbs.

The Bosnia venture appears to have been very important to the rise of mujahedin forces, to the emergence of today's cross-border Islamic terrorists who think nothing of moving from state to state in the search of outlets for their jihadist mission. In moving to Bosnia, Islamic fighters were transported from the ghettos of Afghanistan and the Middle East into Europe; from an outdated battleground of the Cold War to the major world conflict of the day; from being yesterday's men to fighting alongside the West's favoured side in the clash of the Balkans. If Western intervention in Afghanistan created the mujahedin, Western intervention in Bosnia appears to have globalised it.

As part of the Dutch government's inquiry into the Srebrenica massacre of July 1995, Professor Cees Wiebes of Amsterdam University compiled a report entitled 'Intelligence and the War in Bosnia', published in April 2002. In it he details the secret alliance between the Pentagon and radical Islamic groups from the Middle East, and their efforts to assist Bosnia's Muslims. By 1993, there was a vast amount of weapons- smuggling through Croatia to the Muslims, organised by 'clandestine agencies' of the USA, Turkey and Iran, in association with a range of Islamic groups that included Afghan mujahedin and the pro-Iranian Hezbollah. Arms bought by Iran and Turkey with the financial backing of Saudi Arabia were airlifted from the Middle East to Bosnia - airlifts with which, Wiebes points out, the USA was 'very closely involved'.

The Pentagon's secret alliance with Islamic elements allowed mujahedin fighters to be 'flown in', though they were initially reserved as shock troops for particularly hazardous operations against Serb forces. According to a report in the Los Angeles Times in October 2001, from 1992 as many as 4,000 volunteers from the Middle East, North Africa and Europe, 'known as the mujahedin', arrived in Bosnia to fight with the Muslims. Richard Holbrooke, America's former chief Balkans peace negotiator, has said that the Bosnian Muslims 'wouldn't have survived' without the help of the mujahedin, though he later admitted that the arrival of the mujahedin was a 'pact with the devil' from which Bosnia is still recovering.

By the end of the 1990s State Department officials were increasingly worried about the consequences of this pact. Under the terms of the 1995 Dayton peace accord, the foreign mujahedin units were required to disband and leave the Balkans. Yet in 2000, the State Department raised concerns about the 'hundreds of foreign Islamic extremists' who became Bosnian citizens after fighting against the Serbs, and who pose a potential terror threat to Europe and the United States. US officials claimed that one of bin Laden's top lieutenants had sent operatives to Bosnia, and that during the 1990s Bosnia had served as a 'staging area and safe haven' for al-Qa'eda and others. The Clinton administration had discovered that it is one thing to permit the movement of Islamic groups across territories; it is quite another to rein them back in again.

Indeed, for all the Clinton officials' concern about Islamic extremists in the Balkans, they continued to allow the growth and movement of mujahedin forces in Europe through the 1990s. In the late 1990s, in the run-up to Clinton's and Blair's Kosovo war of 1999, the USA backed the Kosovo Liberation Army against Serbia. According to a report in the Jerusalem Post in 1998, KLA members, like the Bosnian Muslims before them, had been 'provided with financial and military support from Islamic countries', and had been 'bolstered by hundreds of Iranian fighters or mujahedin ...[some of whom] were trained in Osama bin Laden' s terrorist camps in Afghanistan'. It seems that, for all its handwringing, the USA just couldn't break the pact with the devil.

Why is this aspect of the mujahedin's development so often overlooked? Some sensible stuff has been written about al-Qa'eda and its connections in recent months, but the Bosnia connection has been left largely unexplored. In Jason Burke's excellent Al-Qa'eda: Casting a Shadow of Terror, Bosnia is mentioned only in passing. Kimberley McCloud and Adam Dolnik of the Monterey Institute of International Studies have written some incisive commentary calling for rational thinking when assessing al-Qa'eda's origins and threat - but again, investigation of the Bosnia link is notable by its absence.

It would appear that when it comes to Bosnia, many in the West have a moral blind spot. For some commentators, particularly liberal ones, Western intervention in Bosnia was a Good Thing - except that, apparently, there was too little of it, offered too late in the conflict. Many journalists and writers demanded intervention in Bosnia and Western support for the Muslims. In many ways, this was their war, where they played an active role in encouraging further intervention to enforce 'peace' among the former Yugoslavia's warring factions. Consequently, they often overlook the downside to this intervention and its divisive impact on the Balkans. Western intervention in Bosnia, it would appear, has become an unquestionably positive thing, something that is beyond interrogation and debate.

Yet a cool analysis of today's disparate Islamic terror groups, created in Afghanistan and emboldened by the Bosnian experience, would do much to shed some light on precisely the dangers of such intervention.


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PRISTINA DIALOGUE DECISION ON SEPTEMBER 23

The time and place for the beginning of dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina will be set at the next meeting of the Contact Group on September 23, UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri told Kosovo Serb political leaders in Pristina yesterday.

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Pristina, 12 Sep (B92, Belgrade)

The time and place for the beginning of dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina will be set at the next meeting of the Contact Group on September 23, UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri told Kosovo Serb political leaders in Pristina yesterday.

The leader of the Serb delegation which met Holkeri yesterday, Dragisa Krstovic, told B92 that there was a plan for the first meeting between the Belgrade authorities and the temporary Kosovo government would be held abroad.

Subsequent meetings would take place in Belgrade and Pristina alternately.

Krstovic said that the Kosovo Serb leaders had not yet responded to Holkeri's request that the Kosovo Serbs be included in the Pristina delegation for the meetings.

"That’s his position and his opinion, and we will make our response known in the next few days," said Krstovic.

"This is a delicate issue, but one on which me must make a decision," he added.

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SITUATION COMPLICATED, FIRST RESULTS SOON

The Council for State Security of Serbia evaluated that "the new escalation of terrorism, wounding and killing children, in addition to the threatening and persecution of the remained Serbs from Kosovo, also expresses a sign to the international community that would not be given up from the temporary goals of the Albanian terrorist, which can only lead towards destabilization of the security situation in the Balkan region".

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Free Serbia, Belgrade
Belgrade, 12 September

The Council for State Security of Serbia evaluated that the measures that had been achieved after the recent attacks on the Serbian population in Kosovo, "give the first result" and very soon "some of the perpetrators of the criminal acts will be arrested".

Despite everything, the security situation has been evaluated as complicated, which "requires improving of the level of vigilance of the all bearers of security functions and citizens", stated the Government Bureau for communications after the Council session, in which attended Goran Svilanovic, minister of foreign affairs of Serbia and Montenegro, Boris Tadic, minister of defense of SCG and Branko Krga, chief of the headquarters of the Army of SCG.

Considering the realization of the measures agreed on at the previous session, the members of the council evaluated that there has been significant progress achieved in cooperation with international community on following and identification of the perpetrators of terrorism".
The council at the previous session ordered the responsible departments to identify the network of organize crime, which is behind the terrorist organizations and activates in Kosovo as soon as possible in cooperation with the partners in foreign countries, stated the government.

Those measures were required after a few attacks of the Albanian extremists on the Serbian population in Kosovo and the military facilities on south Serbia, including the attack on a group of Serbian children in Gorazdevac near Peja in Kosovo.

The Council then evaluated that "the new escalation of terrorism, wounding and killing children, in addition to the threatening and persecution of the remained Serbs from Kosovo, also expresses a sign to the international community that would not be given up from the temporary goals of the Albanian terrorist, which can only lead towards destabilization of the security situation in the Balkan region". (Beta)

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ANALYSIS: US, NATO PLACED THEIR STAKES ON ALBANIAN SEPARATISM
COMMENTARY: THE SITUATION IN MACEDONIA IS DETERIORATING

-"The trouble is that the USA and NATO put their stakes in the Balkans on Albanian separatism," says Prof. Vladimir Volkov, a prominent Balkans expert and director of the Institute of Slavic Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences....Besides, NATO is still entertaining hopes of using Albanian separatism for putting pressure on maverick Balkan countries.

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RIA Novosti, September 10th 2003 (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
Valery Asriyan, RIA Novosti analyst

The question is: Could the Macedonian government react differently to such an ultimatum? Agreement to honour the demand would have amounted to withdrawal of national jurisdiction from a part of the country's territory. The example of Kosovo, which Albanians actually tore away from Serbia with NATO assistance, is too fresh and convincing to disregard it.

-It [the Ohrid Framework Agreement] did not and could not restore peace and international accord in Macedonia because the goal of one of the sides -Albanians - was to split the country. They accepted peace only as a tactical manoeuvre allowing them to regroup for continued "struggle for independence."

-ANA units, well armed and replenished with members of the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), waged hostilities against the Macedonian security forces.When the Macedonian government decided to use regular army [forces] against the rebels, NATO interfered in the process and actually tied the hands of President Boris Trajkovski.

-In short, yielding to NATO and US pressure, Macedonia took actions that can eventually turn it into a federal state of two ethnic groups....

-"[D]isarmament" was carried out just as in Kosovo,where nearly all KLA members kept their weapons and the KLA was not dissolved but changed its name to the Civil Defence Corps. [Kosovo Protection Corps]

-"The trouble is that the USA and NATO put their stakes in the Balkans on Albanian separatism," says Prof. Vladimir Volkov, a prominent Balkans expert and director of the Institute of Slavic Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences....Besides, NATO is still entertaining hopes of using Albanian separatism for putting pressure on maverick Balkan countries.

-In a few years Macedonian Albania[ns] will announce secession from Macedonia and, joining forces with the Kosovo, Greek and Montenegrin Albanians, attempt to create a new state. In fact, it is an old plan of creating [a] Greater Albania, which clearly poses[a]serious threat to the Balkans.

The situation in Macedonia has deteriorated again. The Front for Albanian National Unification, under whose cover the illegal Albanian National Army (ANA) is operating, has announced emergency mobilisation of its units. Albanians say they were forced to do this because the Macedonian government refused to react to the ANA ultimatum on the withdrawal of all security forces from Kumanovo.

But the question is: Could the Macedonian government react differently to such an ultimatum? Agreement to honour the demand would have amounted to withdrawal of national jurisdiction from a part of the country's territory. The example of Kosovo, which Albanians actually tore away from Serbia with NATO assistance,is too fresh and convincing to disregard it.

The ANA ultimatum and mobilisation order mean that the Ohrid Agreement signed by Albanian fighters and Macedonian authorities two years ago turned out to be a fragile and unreliable instrument, just as many experts had predicted. It did not and could not restore peace and international accord in Macedonia because the goal of one of the sides - Albanians - was to split the country. They accepted peace only as a tactical manoeuvre allowing them to regroup for continued "struggle for independence."

That struggle began in the spring of 2001, when the Albanian minority of Macedonia (or rather, its most aggressive part nurturing separatist plans), inspired by the example of Kosovo, took up arms to fight for independence and secession of the north-western part of Macedonia that borders on Kosovo. ANA units, well armed and replenished with members of the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), waged hostilities against the Macedonian security forces. When the Macedonian government decided to use regular army against the rebels, NATO interfered in the process and actually tied the hands of President Boris Trajkovski.

It was at NATO initiative that the Ohrid Agreement was assigned. Under it, the Macedonian authorities made major concessions to Albanians. Though the Albanian majority had never been discriminated in Macedonia,the agreement granted it additional rights. Five Albanians were put on the Macedonian cabinet as ministers and Albanian was granted the status of an official language in Albanian regions and actually became a second state language. The number of Albanians in police units was increased and the method of making parliamentary decisions was changed to take into account Albanians' demands. All of these changes were reflected in the amended Macedonian Constitution.

In short, yielding to NATO and US pressure, Macedonia took actions that can eventually turn it into a federal state of two ethnic groups, something which Albanians have long demanded and which President Trajkovski resisted, as he saw this, with good reason,as a threat to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Macedonia.

The thing is that the Macedonian authorities had to announce an amnesty for those who had fought government troops. The amnesty was to be preceded by the liquidation of Albanian bandit groups and surrender of their weapons, which the NATO group deployed in Macedonia undertook to supervise. But"disarmament" was carried out just as in Kosovo, where nearly all KLA members kept their weapons and the KLA was not dissolved but changed its name to the Civil Defence Corps.

In Macedonia, the ANA, now called the Front for Albanian National Unification, kept its weapons and its fighters, after a brief respite, resumed their actions by presenting the aforementioned ultimatum to the Macedonian government. As you see, the policy of appeasing extremists in Kosovo and Macedonia did not do any good.

"The trouble is that the USA and NATO put their stakes in the Balkans on Albanian separatism," says Prof.Vladimir Volkov, a prominent Balkans expert and director of the Institute of Slavic Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences. He told this correspondent that the NATO leadership probably sees the dangers of Albanian extremism for the Balkans and the rest of Europe but does not want to admit this.And it does not do anything to amend the situation.Why? Because the bloc, which used the Albanian card as the trump in the game against Yugoslavia of Milosevic,cannot retrace its steps to disavow its actions and admit the failure of its Balkans policy that destabilised the situation in the region, said the scientist. Besides, NATO is still entertaining hopes of using Albanian separatism for putting pressure on maverick Balkan countries.

According to Volkov, if NATO continues to nurture Albanian extremism and allows the creation of a two-subject Macedonian state, the outcome of regional developments will be easily predictable. In a few years Macedonian Albania will announce secession from Macedonia and, joining forces with the Kosovo, Greek and Montenegrin Albanians, attempt to create a new state. In fact, it is an old plan of creating Greater Albania, which clearly poses serious threat to the Balkans.

NATO must decide now. Either it closes its eyes to the ethnic re-carving of the Balkans (which nationalists of all stripes want), or works to stabilise the situation in the Balkans with due respect for the interests of all regional nations. The latter can be done if NATO accepts the Russian initiative, under which all Balkan countries must sign an agreement on the mutual recognition of sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of existing borders.

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INET - KOSOVO AND METOHIJA FLASH NEWS, SEP 11

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INET, KOSOVO AND METOHIJA NEWS
Thursday 11 September 2003


22:00 Serbia and Montenegro parliamentary speaker Dragoljub Micunovic said today that he received assurances from Council of Europe parliamentary assembly president Peter Schieder and secretary general Walter Schwimmer that the agenda of the autumn session of the Council of Europe will include the status of human rights in Kosovo and Metohija.

20:20 Serbian premier Zoran Zivkovic and Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov agreed today that dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina should begin as soon as possible, and that talks should focus on conditions for the return of displaced persons, i.e., security and freedom of movement.

19:20 "I have two clear messages for the leaders of the provisional institutions in Kosovo and Metohija and Serbia and Montenegro officials: neither the declaration for independence nor the one against it will influence the final status of the province," stated EC foreign affairs commissioner Chris Patten during his visit to Pristina.

19:00 Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov once again, during his talks today with Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) leader Vojislav Kostunica, reiterated the willingness of Russia, a permanent member of the UN Security Council and the Contact Group, to work in cooperation with the European Union and the USA in assisting in the resolution of the issue of Kosovo and Metohija.

18:00 The Serbian government is ready to begin its dialogue with Pristina today; when it will in fact begin depends on the Albanian side and the international community, announced Serbian premier Zoran Zivkovic.

14:00 Kosovo parliamentary deputy speaker Oliver Ivanovic said last night that Serb political representatives in the province were not invited to meet with EU foreign affairs commissioner Chris Patten upon his arrival yesterday in Pristina. "The Serb side expected to meet with Patten but was not invited despite the fact that it had a great deal to tell him, especially with regard to security because in just the past month eight Serbs were killed in Kosovo and many more were wounded," said Ivanovic.

13:40 EU foreign affairs commissioner Chris Patten stated last night in Pristina that the goal of the European Union is the beginning of dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina as soon as possible. After meeting with UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri, Patten emphasized that the talks should focus on technical questions of mutual interest to the citizens of Kosovo and Metohija, and Serbia.

13:00 Establishing dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina with an emphasis on refugee returns and security in Kosovo and Metohija is of great importance, assessed Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov after meeting last night in Belgrade with Serbian deputy prime minister Nebojsa Covic.

12:20 Former US president Bill Clinton will arrive in Kosovo on September 19 for a one-day visit, report Albanian-language media in Pristina. According to the same sources, Clinton will come to Kosovo after visiting Bosnia-Herzegovina, where he will attend the opening of the Srebrenica memorial center dedicated to the victims of the [alleged] massacre in 1995. The Pristina sources state that during his brief visit to the Kosovo capital, Clinton will receive a honorary doctorate from the University of Pristina. One of the main public squares in Pristina was [re-]named after Clinton and a large portrait of him is prominently placed there. The Kosovo Albanians consider Clinton a great friend and emphasize that during the time of his presidential mandate, he made a great contribution to the internationalization of the Kosovo problem.


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INET - KOSOVO AND METOHIJA FLASH NEWS, SEP 12

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I*Net News, Belgrade
KOSOVO AND METOHIJA NEWS
Friday 12 September 2003


20:20 UNMIK advised today that the free trade agreement between Kosovo and Albania will go into effect on October 1 of this year.

20:00 Dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina will gradually lead to a change in relations between Serbs and Albanians, assessed Democratic Party of Serbia president Vojislav Kostunica after meeting last night in Belgrade with EU foreign affairs commissioner Chris Patten.

19:40 In accordance with the determination of the international community for the beginning of dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina as soon as possible, UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri has already received an agenda for the first meeting, said Kosovo minister Goran Bogdanovic.

13:20 Kosovo Police Service spokesman Refki Morina stated that a civilian was killed and a member of the KPS wounded after being ambushed and attacked with automatic weapons on Wednesday night in the village of Maticani near Pristina.

13:00 Serbian premier Zoran Zivkovic and Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov agreed that dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina should begin as soon as possible and that one of the main topics to be resolved is the issue of displaced persons, their security and freedom of movement.

12:40 The US is consistent in its efforts to guarantee peace and stability in the Balkans and be an active participant in peacekeeping operations under the leadership of NATO in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as in Kosovo and Metohija, stated Mark Grossman, the assistant secretary for political affairs in the US Department of State.

12:20 Some of the NGOs concerned with issues such as ethnic conflict and human rights have advised that they wish to be an active part of future talks between Belgrade and Pristina.

12:00 Serbian deputy premier Nebojsa Covic expressed the expectation that dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina on resolving problems in Kosovo will start at the beginning of November.

11:40 The time and the place for the beginning of dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina will be fixed at the next meeting of the Contact Group on September 23, which will most probably be held in the US, it was said at a meeting of UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri with the political representatives of the Kosovo Serbs held in Pristina.


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