December 12, 2003

ERP KiM Newsletter 12-11-03

"Standards for Kosovo" intended to con Serbs

This is a document representing a collection of abstract concepts without any clearly defined mechanisms for measuring implementation of standards. The Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija are defined as a national minority in the para-state that has been built on the territory of Serbia-Montenegro for the past four years, contrary to UN Security Council Resolution 1244.


No, this is not Berlin from the 70ties but Pristina in December 2003
The wall is not protecting the dwindling and oppressed Serb community
in the Province but the UNMIK HQ building from possible Islamist terrorist attacks
in a Muslim dominated UN administered Province

After the recent terrorist threats in Kosovo UNMIK HQ building was encircled by a massive concrete wall. Yesterday the Commander of the central Kosovo KFOR brigade confirmed to Radio Kosovo that: "Local as well as international extremist groups operate in Kosovo". Just a week ago, two British journalists posing as Real IRA terrorists bought from Kosovo Albanian extremists which they described as close to Al Qaeda 15 kg of Semetex explosive, enough to blow up the Oxford Street or the Houses of Parliament in London. After the story was published at least one Kosovo Albanian terrorist was arrested. Finally the UN chief in Kosovo dared publicly mention that without standards "nightmare of an intolerant and chauvinistic province" becomes closer. For Kosovo Serbs this nightmare which some internationals start to feel these days, when their own lives are in danger, is a reality which lasts more than four years of the internationally granted "peace".

CONTENTS:

Serbian Orthodox Church - Holekeri tries to con the Serbs
This is a document representing a collection of abstract concepts without any clearly defined mechanisms for measuring implementation of standards. The Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija are defined as a national minority in the para-state that has been built on the territory of Serbia-Montenegro  for the past four years contrary to UN Security Council Resolution 1244.

Serb refugees from Klina still waiting - "We still want to return to our homes"
The returnees are still in shock following yesterday's incident and stoning but they remain firmly determined not to give up in their battle for their basic human rights. "This our joint decision and we have no intention of giving up our desire to return to our homes and live in peace with our Albanian neighbors," said Petko Pesic.

Covic informed the Patriarch about deficiencies of the "Kosovo Standards" plan
Mr. Covic informed the Holy Synod of Bishops regarding the latest course of events with regard to the presentation of the final version of a UNMIK document called the Standards for Kosovo, which fails to take into account any key objection or suggestion of the Serbian Government and does not create a framework for "substantial autonomy" as foreseen by United Nations 1244.

Hari Holkeri's speech at inauguration of the "Standards for Kosovo"
Our task, together, is to prepare Kosovo for final status. There is now a date for a decision, but there is nothing inevitable about that decision. That decision depends on what is said and done here in Kosovo, because there s only one route to final status. And that is through progress on standards.

B92: Kosovo law repeal legally "not sustainable
Unless Holkeri returns to the standards for Kosovo as defined by UN Security Council Resolution 1244, said Covic, Belgrade would have no argument for demanding any kind of constructive behavior from the province's Serb population. “There are laws which should have been repealed by our parliament by now; these are simply anachronistic and outdated laws. But this is not about the legislation, it is about an attitude to the sovereignty of Serbia-Montenegro which, according to 1244, still applies on this territory," said Kostunica.

Local and international extremist groups operate in Kosovo (says KFOR general)
Local as well as international extremist groups operate in Kosovo. I am sorry I cannot offer you more detailed information, but extremist group that want destabilization of Kosovo will not reach their objective, I can guarantee you," added MNB-C Commander.

BBC: Albania soldiers in rape scandal
Human trafficking and the forced prostitution of women continue to plague post-communist Albania. Attempts by the authorities to address the problems, in an effort to join eventually join Nato and the European Union, have so far been in vain. Criminal gangs take advantage of police corruption, a weak judicial system and lax border controls to exploit young women.

Agim Ceku wants to resurrect former KLA as a new Kosovo Army
"We're not questioning UNMIK's authority, which defines the KPC as a civil organisation, but the KPC will become an army", Agim Ceku told BBC Radio. "We're capable of it, we have a right to do it, and no one should fear this".

INET News from Kosovo and Metohija, December 11, 2003

SERBIAN GOVERNMENT

New reality of Kosovo-Metohija based on violation of human rights

Belgrade, Dec 11, 2003 - On the occasion of the Day of Human Rights, the Coordinating Centre for Kosovo-Metohija warned that human rights of the non-Albanian population must be protected in the province, where as a result of ethnic cleansing, violation of human rights and general criminalisation of society a new state of everyday reality is being created.

The Coordinating Centre urged the international community and the United Nations to show that the principles of the Declaration on Human Rights are not just theory and abstraction. The Centre said in a statement that the respect for human rights may not be compromised and that basic human rights codes must be applied without fail to all states, communities and groups, to every individual entity.

Prior to any discussion on Kosovo-Metohija's status, the international community must secure basic human rights for Kosovo Serbs, read the statement. The Coordinating Centre urged that the international Day of Human Rights must serve as a reminder of the urgent need to protect the human rights of the non-Albanian population in the province, as it is only if these rights are exercised, that the citizens of Kosovo-Metohija could live in a human community worthy of that description.

 


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Holkeri tries to con the Serbs

This is a document representing a collection of abstract concepts without any clearly defined mechanisms for measuring implementation of standards. The Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija are defined as a national minority in the para-state that has been built on the territory of Serbia-Montenegro  for the past four years contrary to UN Security Council Resolution 1244.

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Communiqué of the Diocese of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija
on the document on Standards in Kosovo and Metohija

Diocese of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija: This is a revision of UNSC Res. 1244 in which the Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohija are defined as a national minority in a para-state without any institutional ties with the state union of Serbia and Montenegro

ERP KIM Info Service
Gracanica, December 11, 2003

The document on "Standards for Kosovo" presented to the public in Pristina yesterday by UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri largely represents a reduced version of a draft document from the end of November in which not a single substantive proposal by the Serbian Government and Ser
bian representatives in Kosovo has been taken into account.

This is a document representing a collection of abstract concepts without any clearly defined mechanisms for measuring implementation of standards. The Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija are defined as a national minority in the para-state that has been built on the territory of Serbia-Montenegro  for the past four years contrary to UN Security Council Resolution 1244.

The document fails to mention a single institutional tie between Kosovo and Metohija and Montenegro, although UNSC Res. 1244 foresees the basic task of UNMIK as establishment of "the substantial autonomy of Kosovo within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)". Moreover, the text of standards has no special provisions regarding the return of "Serbian personnel" to the borders and near Serbian patrimonial monuments, leaving no possibility for appropriate Serbian institutions to concern themselves with the protection of the Serbian cultural heritage in Serbia's southern Province.

Especially inadequate is the definition of standards with regard to the return of displaced persons and the effective investigations of ethnic crimes committed against the Serbian and other non-Albanian population during the time of the UNMIK administration.

Having all this in mind, what we have before us is a document that represents yet another step toward the establishment of a second independent Albanian state - Kosovo - where, if we take into account the actions of Albanian leaders and their supporters to date, the long-term survival of the Serbian people will not be realistically possible, especially following the inevitable withdrawal of the UN mission and KFOR.

The Serbian Government and Serbian representatives in Kosovo and Metohija should under no circumstances participate in the legalization of such a document, which de facto revises Resolution 1244 and leads to the ultimate discontinuation of Serbia and Montenegro's sovereignty over this territory. It is necessary to undertake urgent diplomatic action of the broadest scope in order to prevent the further Albanization of the southern Serbian province and insist that the UN mission and KFOR remain within the scope of their mandate in Kosovo and Metohija, as defined by UNSC Resolution 1244.

The Serbian community in Kosovo and Metohija does not need abstractly defined standards for minorities that are not fully implemented even in the most developed European countries; it needs, first and foremost, a clearly defined institutional framework, within Serbian borders, that will enable the long-term sustenance of the Serbian people in this area and the effective protection of its rich patrimonial legacy.

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Serb refugees from Klina still waiting - "We still want to return to our homes"

The returnees are still in shock following yesterday's incident and stoning but they remain firmly determined not to give up in their battle for their basic human rights. "This our joint decision and we have no intention of giving up our desire to return to our homes and live in peace with our Albanian neighbors," said Petko Pesic.

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ERP KIM Info Service
Gracanica, December 11, 2003

Last night Bishop Artemije of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija conveyed by phone his support to Serb refugees from Klina who narrowly escaped being lynched during an unsuccessful attempt yesterday to return to their homes in Klina. This morning representatives of the ERP KIM Info Service again contacted the returnees, who said there is still no positive move in the resolution of their request to return to Klina. This morning they were visited by the local police commander. UNMIK representatives failed to appear although the idea of Serb returns to Klina was based on an agreement with local UNMIK representatives. The returnees expressed their overwhelming gratitude to the Italian KFOR troops who, by jeopardizing their own personal safety, successfully evacuated them and saved them from being public lynched.

The returnees are still in shock following yesterday's incident and stoning but they remain firmly determined not to give up in their battle for their basic human rights. "This our joint decision and we have no intention of giving up our desire to return to our homes and live in peace with our Albanian neighbors," said Petko Pesic.

The Diocese of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija, which has already provided the refugees with some assistance, once again appeals to all relevant Serbian institutions and public figures to ask the embassies of the major Western countries that political pressure be put on Klina's ethnic Albanian mayor Ramo Manaj, who was apparently the chief organizer of yesterday's protest and stoning, as well as on the leader of the political party to which he belongs, Ibrahim Rugova, to stop obstructing returns and promoting ethnic hatred.

This sort of behavior on the part of an official representatives of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), a purportedly moderate political party, is scandalous. Mayor Manaj, who experienced a family tragedy during the war is projecting his personal frustrations on the entire local administration; despite sympathy for the personal tragedy of any man, Albanian or Serb, it is politically irresponsible and unacceptable for a public official who should serve as an example to others.

Also absolutely incomprehensible is the passivity of UNMIK, Albanian political leaders and diplomatic representatives in Pristina with respect to yesterday's events in Klina. Instead of lending credence to their verbal support for standards by personally visiting the scene, as of now there is no information that any of the political leaders from Pristina visited Klina.

While the Serbs of Klina barely managed to escape the Albanian throng yesterday in one piece, in Pristina there was a football match going on between a team consisting of members of KFOR, UNMIK, the Kosovo Police Force and the Kosovo Protection Corps against the monoethnic Albanian Football Club of Pristina, which was attended by all the leading officials.

All in all, one gains the distinct impression that everyone would be happiest if the Serbian returnees gave up on their project and returned to the collective centers of central Serbia and Montenegro, finally making in possible for UNMIK officials to go back to their homes and celebrate the upcoming Christmas and New Year's holidays.

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Serbian Orthodox Church Concerned with the new Kosovo Plan on Standards
Serbian Deputy Premier Dr. Nebojsa Covic informs the Patriarch Pavle
about deficiencies of "Kosovo Standards" Plan inaugurated by UNMIK's chief 

Covic informed the Patriarch about deficiencies of the "Kosovo Standards" document

Mr. Covic informed the Holy Synod of Bishops regarding the latest course of events with regard to the presentation of the final version of a UNMIK document called the Standards for Kosovo, which fails to take into account any key objection or suggestion of the Serbian Government and does not create a framework for "substantial autonomy" as foreseen by United Nations 1244.

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The Information Service of
the Serbian Orthodox Church
Patriarchal Palace - Belgrade
December 11, 2003

MEETING OF HOLY SYNOD OF BISHOPS WITH NEBOJSA COVIC,
HEAD OF THE COORDINATING CENTER FOR KOSOVO AND METOHIJA

His Holiness the Serbian Patriarch Pavle, together with members of the Holy Synod of Bishops comprising the Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral, Amfilohije, and the Episcopes of Sabac and Valjevo Lavrentije and Zamulje and Herzegovina, Lavrentije and Grigorije, respectively, today received Mr. Nebojsa Covic, deputy prime minister of the Serbian Government and head of the Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija.

Mr. Covic informed the Holy Synod of Bishops regarding the latest course of events with regard to the presentation of the final version of a UNMIK document called the Standards for Kosovo, which fails to take into account any key objection or suggestion of the Serbian Government and does not create a framework for "substantial autonomy" as foreseen by United Nations 1244.

Upon hearing the report of Mr. Covic, the Holy Synod of Bishops expressed support for the position of the Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija, assessing it to be the only position possible. The Holy Synod of Bishops concluded that UNMIK and other formal and informal organs of the international community need to pass resolutions in agreement with all interested parties, as well as that all resolutions that are achieved must be for the good of the Serbs, as well as the Albanians and all others who live in the southern Serbian province.

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Hari Holkeri's speech at inauguration of
"Standards for Kosovo"

Our task, together, is to prepare Kosovo for final status. There is now a date for a decision, but there is nothing inevitable about that decision. That decision depends on what is said and done here in Kosovo, because there s only one route to final status. And that is through progress on standards.

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Mr. President, Prime Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today is International Human Rights day. I am glad of that because today is also an important day for Kosovo, the day when the Prime Minister and I are launching "Standards for Kosovo".

The announcement of a review date for a decision on final status has opened a new chapter. Now it is time for us to write that chapter.

Our task, together, is to prepare Kosovo for final status. There is now a date for a decision, but there is nothing inevitable about that decision. That decision depends on what is said and done here in Kosovo, because there s only one route to final status. And that is through progress on standards.

For the first time, the document “Standards for Kosovo" sets out point-by-point what the standards mean. Here, in ten pages, is described in detail a society where people of all communities are respected, whatever their ethnic background, where they are free to travel, work and use their own languages, where the institutions of government serve all the people, in all of Kosovo, without discrimination, and where there is fair justice and security for everybody. Ask me what this means in reality, and it is described here.

It means that all communities are recruited into the police and the Kosovo Protection Corps. It means that official signs and documents must appear in all official languages. It means economic progress for everyone in Kosovo, without discrimination. It means that all those who want to return to Kosovo are able and encouraged to do so.

What we are launching just now is a document without an introduction. We have not yet been able to agree on the introductory text. We shall continue our efforts to fight an acceptable wording.

I want to say a word now about representatives of the Kosovo Serb community. I am sorry that they could not join us here today. I am sure though that they will continue their work with UNMIK and as part of the government to improve the living conditions for their community. Their work with us is an essential part of what the standards process is all about.

It is easy to say what the standards mean. It is harder to reach them.

Kosovo has made enormous progress over the last four years. It is a more peaceful place; there is less violence. The government, led by Bajram Rexhepi, comprises all communities and is tackling the problems that Kosovo faces

But the standards are not yet achieved. To achieve them means change

Change will only come about if we work together. UNMIK and the government need to work more closely in partnership. The Prime Minister and I have agreed to start up a joint process to make policy to achieve these standards. Later this morning, he and I will chair the first joint meeting of the government and UNMIK. And we will get to work. Our first task will be to produce a joint plan to implement these standards

But change is not just about the government and UNMIK, documents and implementation plans. If standards are seen as just another exercise by the bureaucrats and diplomats in Pristina, we will have failed. Because the creation of a just and tolerant society is a task for all the people of Kosovo

In a sense, this document represents a choice. Work for the standards, and the goal is within reach of a democratic, prosperous and lawful Kosovo, a peaceful place for all its communities, in a stable relationship with its neighbours. Reject the standards, and the nightmare of an intolerant and chauvinistic province, dominated by the criminal and the corrupt, comes closer. Achieve the standards, and the international community will in due course make the necessary decisions to consider Kosovo's final status. Fail them, and Kosovo will remain stuck, backward, left behind perhaps for decades to come.

I cannot change the attitudes of people in the towns and villages of Kosovo.  This is not my place and it is not my custom to dictate.  It is for the leaders and people of Kosovo to make this choice.  I have not been here long, but I know already that good people here, whatever their ethnic background, reject hatred and intolerance, criminality and extremism. This document is for them. I am confident that they will make the right choice.

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Kosovo Law Repeal "Legally not sustainable"

Unless Holkeri returns to the standards for Kosovo as defined by UN Security Council Resolution 1244, said Covic, Belgrade would have no argument for demanding any kind of constructive behavior from the province's Serb population. “There are laws which should have been repealed by our parliament by now; these are simply anachronistic and outdated laws. But this is not about the legislation, it is about an attitude to the sovereignty of Serbia-Montenegro which, according to 1244, still applies on this territory," said Kostunica.

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B92, Belgrade
December 11, 2003


Pristina, 11 Dec (B92) - The United Nations mission in Kosovo has described as “legally unsustainable" this morning's decision by the Kosovo Assembly to repeal all legislation passed by the Serbian Parliament since March, 1989.

An UNMIK representative told B92 that only the UN mission had the right to decide what laws would be implemented in the province.

Tabling the motion in the Assembly today, the Kosovo Government said that the Serbian legislation was hindering privatization in Kosovo.

“All laws adopted by Serbia in Kosovo were against the will of the majority Kosovo population and their representatives, and as such they are unacceptable and an obstacle to Kosovo's future prospects", said Arsim Bajrami, the head of the parliament's Judicial and Legislative Board.

Serb members of the Assembly voted against this morning's motion, with one Kosovo MP, Gojko Savic, telling B92 that the move was unreasonable.

“Their justification is that the laws discriminate against the people of Kosovo. In that case we could seek the abolition of laws that discriminate against the Serb community, he added.
The head of Belgrade's Kosovo Coordination Centre, Nebojsa Covic, has called on Kosovo governor Harri Holkeri to overturn the Assembly's decision.

If he fails to do so, said Covic, the Coordination Centre would propose that the government proclaim invalid all decrees adopted in Kosovo since June 12, 1999.

“We are a state while UNMIK and Kosovo are not states," said Covic.

Asked what would be achieved by such a reaction from Belgrade, Covic replied that Serbia must define its own state.

“If one side is violating the agreement then the other is not obliged to respect it. Belgrade simply cannot allow what is happening now or be an accessory to it. At least we won't be accessories," he said.

Unless Holkeri returns to the standards for Kosovo as defined by UN Security Council Resolution 1244, said Covic, Belgrade would have no argument for demanding any kind of constructive behavior from the province's Serb population.

Former Yugoslav president Vojislav Kostunica described the repeal of the legislation as a political measure which, he said is not provided for under Resolution 1244.

“There are laws which should have been repealed by our parliament by now; these are simply anachronistic and outdated laws. But this is not about the legislation, it is about an attitude to the sovereignty of Serbia-Montenegro which, according to 1244, still applies on this territory," said Kostunica.


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Local and International Extremist Groups Operate in Kosovo (says KFOR General)

Local as well as international extremist groups operate in Kosovo. I am sorry I cannot offer you more detailed information, but extremist group that want destabilization of Kosovo will not reach their objective, I can guarantee you," added MNB-C Commander (Paavo Kiljunen, Fin Army).

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Radio Kosovo
11 November, 2003


The (KFOR) Multinational Brigade "Center" Commander held his first press conference at the brigade's General Headquarters in Pristina.

“The duty of the brigade is that together with the police provide a peaceful and secure environment for the population of the zone this brigade is responsible," stated the MNB-Commander. “During our mission here we will closely cooperate with the UNMIK's first pillar, police and justice in order to establish a peaceful and democratic society in Kosovo. We have a need to provide an equal treatment for all the communities here. Now, with the standards for Kosovo the map of the obvious path exists. We will offer our sincere assistance in order to achieve this joint objective. We will continue our full support so law and order will prevail in Kosovo and that the small groups wanting destabilization of Kosovo will have no place to hide.

Local as well as international extremist groups operate in Kosovo. I am sorry I cannot offer you more detailed information, but extremist group that want destabilization of Kosovo will not reach their objective, I can guarantee you," added MNB-C Commander.

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BBC: Albania soldiers in rape scandal

Human trafficking and the forced prostitution of women continue to plague post-communist Albania. Attempts by the authorities to address the problems, in an effort to join eventually join Nato and the European Union, have so far been in vain. Criminal gangs take advantage of police corruption, a weak judicial system and lax border controls to exploit young women.

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BBC,
Published: 2003/12/12 03:51:30 GMT


Albania soldiers in rape scandal

Albanian police say several servicemen have been arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing a 16-year old girl.

The men are accused of raping the girl before selling her to a gang in Kosovo which forced her into prostitution.

UN staff eventually rescued the girl and helped her to return to Albania.

Army Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Pellumb Qazimi, who issued a public apology to the girl, has suspended the commander of the base in north-western Albania where the men were stationed.

Some reports say four civilians have also been arrested in connection with the case.

The 16-year-old was first abducted at the Bisht Palle naval base in June and sexually abused by soldiers for two months, according to a police spokesman.

She was then "sold" to Albanian hotel owners, before ending up in the southern Kosovo town of Prizren.

UN officials found her in Kosovo with irregular documents and took her to a rehabilitation centre for trafficked women in Durres.

The teenager has decided to bring charges against her abusers, police say.

Crackdown

Human trafficking and the forced prostitution of women continue to plague post-communist Albania.

Attempts by the authorities to address the problems, in an effort to join eventually join Nato and the European Union, have so far been in vain.

Criminal gangs take advantage of police corruption, a weak judicial system and lax border controls to exploit young women.

A new report, co-written by the UN and the 55-nation Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), has estimated that 120,000 women and children are trafficked into the EU each year, most of them through the Balkans.


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Agim Ceku wants to resurrect former KLA as a new Kosovo army

SRNA News Agency
December 12, 2003

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PRISTINA -- Friday - The commander of the Kosovo Protection Corps has confirmed he intends to transform the UN-created body into an army.

"We're not questioning UNMIK's authority, which defines the KPC as a civil organisation, but the KPC will become an army", Agim Ceku told BBC Radio. "We're capable of it, we have a right to do it, and no one should fear this".

The KPC was set up by the United Nations administration four years ago from the ranks of the disbanded Kosovo Liberation Army. It is defined as a "civilian emergency organisation" designed to secure public safety in times of emergency and humanitarian assistance.

The UN governor in the province last week suspended 12 members of the Corps for suspected links with an outlawed terrorist organisation going by the name of the Albanian National Army. Ceku said the move was "unacceptable" since the investigation was still underway.

Under the UN's plan to implement standards in the province ahead of final-status talks, the KPC is expected to recruit more members from ethnic minority communities, and to cut its overall size to just 3,052 active members and 2,000 reservists.

Ceku told the BBC he was confident of meeting the standards, and pledged to "invest maximum effort to convince members of the Serb community that the KPC is their institution as well".

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INET: News from Kosovo and Metohija, 11 December 2003

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www.inet.co.yu

I*Net News, Belgrade


Thursday 11 December 2003

22:20 The Serbian Orthodox Church expressed support today for the position of the Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija on the final version of the "Standards for Kosovo" of UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri, assessing it to be "the only position possible".

20:40 UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri overturned the decision of the Kosovo parliament today to rescind all laws passed by the Serbian Parliament since 1989 with the explanation that such decisions are not under its jurisdiction.

20:20 Kosovo parliament presidency member Oliver Ivanovic assessed that the Kosovo parliament's decision to rescind Serbian laws is nonsense and announced that Serbian deputies would ask UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri to overturn it.

20:00 Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) president Vojislav Kostunica assessed that the Kosovo parliament's decision to rescind all laws passed by the Republic of Serbia in connection with Kosovo from March 19, 1989 to 2001 is contrary to UN Security Council Resolution 1244.

19:40 Today the Kosovo parliament rescinded all constitutional and legal measures of the Republic of Serbia ratified after March 22, 1989 by a majority vote, as well as legal consequences of the implementation of those measures.

18:40 The Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizren warned today that Serbs from Klina who wish to return to their homes are in need of humanitarian aid and that it should be provided as soon as possible through the Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija section for humanitarian affairs or through local parishes of the Serbian Orthodox Church [worldwide].

17:20 The return of displaced persons will be the deciding indicator whether Kosovo has achieved the standards asked of it by the international community, said UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri today in Vienna.

15:40 The Serbian Government should seek the nullification of the plan for implementation of standards in Kosovo and Metohija, and the dismissal of UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri, who is responsible for the document, said Serbian Unity Party president Borislav Pelevic, one of the leaders of the Coalition for National Unity. Pelevic said at a press conference that this Serbian administration has no intention of confronting Holkeri, emphasizing that by failing to do so it was helping the cause of the destruction of the Serbian state and the creation of an independent Kosovo.

13:00 Daniel Serwer, a U.S. expert with the U.S. Institute for Peace in Washington, stated that the adoption of the plan for implementation of standards in Kosovo and Metohija is a big step forward and expressed surprise that the plan was rejected by Belgrade. "In my opinion UNMIK and Kosovo provisional institutions have achieved a relatively clearly agreement on what needs to be accomplished before talks on the final status of the province can begin. I think that the preconditions specified in the plan are relatively rigorous. I don't believe that any of the sovereign countries in the Balkans today meet all the requirements," Serwer said in a statement for the BBC.

12:40 UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri presented a plan called "Standards for Kosovo" in Pristina yesterday, which the province must implement prior to talks on its final status. The ten-page document defines a total of eight standards in the areas of establishment of democracy and a state of law, respect for human rights, refugee returns and the economy, all of which must be met by mid-2005.

11:20 Serbian deputy prime minister and Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija head Nebojsa Covic said that the standards proposed by the UN are "a roadmap to an independent Kosovo and Metohija".

10:40 Commenting on the unilateral decision of Harri Holkeri to define standards for Kosovo, Union of Serbian Municipalities of Kosovo and Metohija president Marko Jaksic stated that it is time for the Serbian state to take offensive measures. "It is time for Serbia to take the initiative. That means offensive steps toward the integration of Kosovo and Metohija into the Serbian state," assessed Jaksic.

10:20 The beginning of dialogue [sic] between Belgrade and Pristina has influenced the security and political situation in southern Serbia. That influence can most clearly be seen in the maximal demands of extremists on both sides - Serbs seeking the division of Kosovo and Albanians seeking compensation in the Presevo Valley. Meanwhile, local political leaders are becoming increasingly nationalistic in their orientation, reducing the space for activity by moderates, concluded the International Crisis Group in its latest report concerned with the political and security situation in southern Serbia.


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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.
Our Information Service is distributing news on Kosovo related issues. The main focus of the Info-Service is the life of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Serbian community in the Province of Kosovo and Metohija. ERP KIM Info Service works in cooperation with www.serbian-translation.com as well as the Kosovo Daily News (KDN) News List

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