January 27, 2004

ERP KiM Newsletter 27-01-04

St. Sava's Day

The feast of the most popular Serbian saint celebrated in Serbian Orthodox churches throughout the world
 


St. Sava of Serbia - the first Archbishop of Serbia 1179 - 1236
/sava.html

The son of Stefan Nemanja, the great Serbian national leader, he was born in 1169. As a young man he yearned for the spiritual life, which led him to flee to the Holy Mountain, where he became a monk and with rare zeal followed all the ascetic practices. Nemanja followed his son's example and himself went to the Holy Mountain, where he lived and ended his days as the monk Simeon. Sava obtained the independence of the Serbian Church from the Emperor and the Patriarch, and became its first archbishop. He, together, with his father, built the monastery of Hilandar and after that many other monasteries, churches and schools throughout the land of Serbia. He travelled to the Holy Land on two occasions, on pilgrimage to the holy places there. He made peace among his brothers, who were in conflict over their rights, and also between the Serbs and their neighbours. In creating the Serbian Church, he created the Serbian state and Serbian culture along with it. He brought peace to all the Balkan peoples, working for the good of all, for which he was venerated and loved by all on the Balkan peninsular. He gave a Christian soul to the people of Serbia, which survived the fall of the Serbian state. He died in Trnovo in the reign of King Asen, being taken ill after the Divine Liturgy on the Feast of the Theophany in 1236. King Vladislav took his body to Milegeva, whence Sinan Pasha removed it, burning it at Vracar in Belgrade on April 27th, 1595.

CONTENTS:

Bishop Artemije supports Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija
"The founding of a ministry for Kosovo and Metohija under the present circumstances would be disastrous for the interests of the Serb people in Kosovo and Metohija," said Bishop Artemije, giving his full support for the work of the Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija

Program for protection of key cultural monuments adopted
Program for restoration and protection of cultural heritage in Kosovo and Metohija adopted at a meeting of representatives of the Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija, the Serbian Ministry of Culture, the Serbia-Montenegro Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Serbian Orthodox Church

Pacifica Radio USA: Wesley Clark Admits Targeting Civilians in Yugoslavia
Since the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia, General Wesley Clark has not answered any in-depth questions about his targeting of civilian infrastructure in Yugoslavia, his bombing of Radio Television Serbia, the use of cluster bombs and depleted uranium, the speeding-up of the cockpit video of a bombing of a passenger train to make it appear as though it was an accident and other decisions he made and orders he gave as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander.

Kosovo bombing prompted by US diplomat's "deception"
The state and its citizens were bombed because of Walker and his trickery," said Covic, in a reference to the killings in the village of Racak, which Walker described as a massacre by Serb security forces, a description which international investigators have since described as rash.

Radio Netherlands: NATO bombing spree revisited
Among those testifying today are former Prime Minister Wim Kok, former Defence Minister Frank de Grave and former Foreign Minister Jozias van Aartsen. The court is to judge whether the two NATO attacks violated the principles and norms of international humanitarian law and whether the Netherlands might be held responsible.

NYT: Source for USA Today reporter disputes details of Kosovo Article
A human rights advocate identified by Jack Kelley, the USA Today correspondent who resigned under pressure this month, as a source for a 1999 article about ethnic cleansing in a Kosovo village disputes many of the details in the article.

News from Kosovo and Metohija, Jan 23-27

More News Available on our:

Kosovo Daily News list (KDN)
KDN Archive

This newsletter is available on our ERP KIM Web-site:
http://www.kosovo.net/erpkiminfo.html

 


St. Sava's Central Academy in Belgrade
with Premier Zivkovic, Jan 27


St. Sava's Day celebrated throughout Kosovo and Metohija

ERP KIM Info-Service
January 27, 2004


With holy Liturgies in all functioning Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries in Kosovo and Metohija the Church celebrated its most popular Serbian Orthodox Saint and the founder of the autocephalous Serbian Church in the 12th century - St. Sava the First Archbishop of Serbia.

In Crkolez village, Istok municipality, the Abbot of Visoki Decani Monastery Rev. Fr. Teodosije took part in the opening celebration of the new school for the Serbian children. The money for the church which was initially donated by one Spanish town was blocked by the local UNMIK administrator Mishra Ajaj (India) who insisted that the school must also include ethnic Albanian students, although dozens of schools in the municipality are ethnically pure Albanian and such preconditions have not been made for the Albanian community. The Serbs decidedly refused Ajaj's decision and built a news school with the help of the Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija on the property donated by the Serbian Orthodox Church.

In Lipljan municipality the central St. Sava's day celebration was organized in the elementary school "St. Prince Lazarus" in Donja Gusterica enclave near Pristina. The schoolchildren prepared a cultural program with folk dances and music. Members of the KFOR also attended the ceremony.

Bishop Artemije supports Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija

"The founding of a ministry for Kosovo and Metohija under the present circumstances would be disastrous for the interests of the Serb people in Kosovo and Metohija," said Bishop Artemije, giving his full support for the work of the Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija

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BELGRADE, January 26, 2004 (Beta News Agency)

Bishop Artemije of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija today positively assessed and gave his full support for the work of the State Union of Serbia-Montenegro and Republic of Serbia's Joint Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija, at the same time expressing his opposition to the forming of a separate ministry for Kosovo within the new Serbian government.

A statement issued by the Coordinating Center states that at a meeting of that body in Belgrade, the Bishop condemned the frequent initiatives recently put forward and clearly opposes the forming of a Ministry for Kosovo and Metohija.

"The founding of such a ministry under the present circumstances would be disastrous for the interests of the Serb people in Kosovo and Metohija," said Bishop Artemije.

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Program for protecting key cultural monuments adopted

Program for restoration and protection of cultural heritage in Kosovo and Metohija adopted at a meeting of representatives of the Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija, the Serbian Ministry of Culture, the Serbia-Montenegro Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Serbian Orthodox Church

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BELGRADE, January 26, 2004 (Beta News Agency)

The Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija, the Serbian Ministry for Culture, the Serbia-Montenegro Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Serbian Orthodox Church today adopted a program for the restoration of "key" cultural monuments in Kosovo and Metohija.

At a meeting in Belgrade attended by Coordinating Center head Nebojsa Covic, Culture Minister Branislav Lecic, SMMFA officials and Bishop Artemije of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija, a task group was formed for protecting the Serbian cultural heritage in Kosovo and Metohija, the Coordinating Center advised.

The statement says that the restoration will include those cultural monuments which "also attest to the inerasable mark and sovereignty of Serbia in Kosovo and Metohija".

Also agreed upon was preparation for a meeting with the Council of Europe's director for cultural heritage.



Project of protection of cultural monuments in Kosovo-Metohija adopted

SERBIAN GOVERNMENT

Belgrade, Jan 27, 2004 - The Coordinating Centre for Kosovo-Metohija, the Serbian Ministry of Culture and Media, the Serbia-Montenegrin Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Serbian Orthodox Church adopted on Monday a project of reconstruction of major Serbian cultural monuments in Kosovo-Metohija.

Following a meeting of Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and head of the Coordinating Centre Nebojsa Covic, Serbian Minister of Culture and Media Branislav Lecic, Foreign Ministry officials and Bishop of Raska and Prizren Artemije, the Coordinating Centre issued a statement that a working group tasked with the protection of the Serbian cultural heritage in the province has been set up.

The reconstruction works will include the monuments that witness indelible imprint and sovereignty of Serbia in Kosovo-Metohija. A meeting with the Council of Europe's Director for Cultural Heritage is to be scheduled soon, the statement read.


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Pacifica Radio USA: Wesley Clark Admits Targeting Civilians in Yugoslavia

Since the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia, General Wesley Clark has not answered any in-depth questions about his targeting of civilian infrastructure in Yugoslavia, his bombing of Radio Television Serbia, the use of cluster bombs and depleted uranium, the speeding-up of the cockpit video of a bombing of a passenger train to make it appear as though it was an accident and other decisions he made and orders he gave as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander.

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http://www.pacifica.org/programs/dn/040126.html

PACIFICA RADIO (USA)

Mon., Jan. 26, 2004

Democracy Now! Exclusive: Wesley Clark Admits Targeting Civilians In Yugoslavia

INTRO: In a Democracy Now! exclusive, General Wesley Clark responds for the first time to in-depth questions about his targeting of civilian infrastructure in Yugoslavia, his bombing of Radio Television Serbia, the use of cluster bombs and depleted uranium, the speeding-up of the cockpit video of a bombing of a passenger train to make it appear as though it was an accident and other decisions he made and orders he gave as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander.

Since the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia, General Wesley Clark has not answered any in-depth questions about his targeting of civilian infrastructure in Yugoslavia, his bombing of Radio Television Serbia, the use of cluster bombs and depleted uranium, the speeding-up of the cockpit video of a bombing of a passenger train to make it appear as though it was an accident and other decisions he made and orders he gave as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander.

With the New Hampshire primary just 24 hours away, the remaining Democratic candidates are in their final push to win votes in the key poll in the Granite state. Whether or not Howard Dean wins or loses, he set the tone very early for what has become a definitive issue in the race early on: opposition to the war in Iraq. Among the Democrats, Dennis Kucinich, Al Sharpton and Carol Moseley Braun held the most clear antiwar stances. But Braun has pulled out of the race, Al Sharpton is not in New Hampshire and Dennis Kucinich - well the media hardly gives him any airtime.

With the exception of Senator Joseph Lieberman, all of the candidates have sought to portray themselves as opponents of the war. But only Kucinich has announced a concrete plan for withdrawing US forces from Iraq. The theme of Iraq is the main issue on which General Wesley Clark is running his campaign.

a.. Gen. Wesley Clark, speaking at a rally in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on January 24, 2004.
Clark portrays himself as the antiwar warrior and his rhetoric against the war has escalated significantly over the past week of campaigning in New Hampshire. At his campaign stops, he has been saying regularly, "The war is wrong."

This is not always what he said as one voter pointed out to him onstage.

a.. Gen. Wesley Clark, responding to a voter asking about his previous comments on Iraq as a CNN commentator.
This is in sharp contrast to statements Clark made as a commentator on CNN before the bombing last year. In January, Clark told CNN, "He [Hussein] does have weapons of mass destruction." When asked, "And you could say that categorically?" Clark responded: "Absolutely."

In February, Clark told CNN, "The credibility of the United States is on the line, and Saddam Hussein has these weapons and so, you know, we're going to go ahead and do this and the rest of the world's got to get with us...The U.N. has got to come in and belly up to the bar on this.
But the president of the United States has put his credibility on the line, too. And so this is the time that these nations around the world, and the United Nations, are going to have to look at this evidence and decide who they line up with."

Immediately following the fall of Baghdad to US forces, Clark responded to a question about finding the alleged weapons of mass destruction,
saying: "I think they will be found. There's so much intelligence on this."

But as Clark speaks out about the war in Iraq, his own record in a different war is almost never examined. That is his role as the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO during the 78 day bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999. Sure, the Clark campaign promotes this in its TV ads - but they say that he liberated a nation and ended a genocide. Clark mentions it often in his stump speeches and the debates. But as a qualification to be commander-in-chief.

What is not discussed is what Clark actually did when he was running a war.

Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill covered the 78 day bombing of Yugoslavia from the ground in 1999, the war Clark was leading as the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO. Jeremy is now in New Hampshire and joins us on the line from Concord, New Hampshire.

a.. Jeremy Scahill, Democracy Now! correspondent speaking from Concord, New Hampshire.
Since the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia, General Wesley Clark has not answered any in-depth questions about his targeting of civilian infrastructure in Yugoslavia, his bombing of Radio Television Serbia, the use of cluster bombs and depleted uranium, the speeding-up of the cockpit video of a bombing of a passenger train to make it appear as though it was an accident and other decisions he made and orders he gave as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander.

This weekend, we had a chance to ask Clark some questions he has never faced before. After a rally where Clark was filming a TV commercial for his campaign, Jeremy and I made our way to the stage. As we attempted to question General Clark, we were told by his press people that he would not be taking questions from reporters. As he was heading backstage, Jeremy approached Clark.

a.. Gen. Wesley Clark, being questioned by Democracy Now!
correspondent Jeremy Scahill.
TRANSCRIPT:
JEREMY SCAHILL: In Yugoslavia, you used cluster bombs and depleted uranium, I want to know if you are president, will you vow not to use them.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: I will use whatever it takes that's legal to protect the men and women against force.

JEREMY SCAHILL: Even against civilians in the marketplace? Why bomb Radio Television Serbia? Why did you bomb Radio Television Serbia? You killed 16 media workers, sir.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: They were-[in audible - Interview interrupted by another questioner.]

That was Clark making an exit off the stage. We followed him as he left the theater and walked down the streets of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, shaking hands, signing autographs, talking to potential voters. As he was entering a business establishment, Jeremy Scahill again approached the General.

a.. Gen. Wesley Clark, being questioned by Democracy Now!
correspondent Jeremy Scahill.
TRANSCRIPT:
JEREMY SCAHILL: General Clark, on that issue of the bombing of Radio Television Serbia, Amnesty International called it a war crime.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Excuse me -- I'm not --

JEREMY SCAHILL: Amnesty called it a war crime and it's condemned by all journalist organizations in the world. It killed makeup artists.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: I want to answer this fellow. Because the truth was that that -- first of all, we gave warnings to Milosevic that that was going to be struck. I personally called the CNN reporter and had it set up so that it would be leaked, and Milosevic knew. He had the warning because after he got the warning, he actually ordered the western journalists to report there as a way of showing us his power, and we had done it deliberately to sort of get him accustomed to the fact that he better start evacuating it. There were actually six people who were killed, as I recall.

JEREMY SCAHILL: There were 16.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: I recall six.

JEREMY SCAHILL: I was there at the time and I knew the families. They do hold Milosevic accountable and they also hold you accountable, sir.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: They were ordered to stay there.

JEREMY SCAHILL: And they were makeup artists, and they were engineers, and they were technicians

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: I remember reading the story, but I want to tell you about it.

JEREMY SCAHILL: Amnesty International said you committed a war crime by bombing that.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: It was all looked at by the International Criminal Tribunal crime by Yugoslavia. All of my actions were examined and they were all upheld by the highest law in the United States.

JEREMY SCAHILL: And you think a media outlet is a legitimate target?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: No, but when it is used as command and control, it is. But then

JEREMY SCAHILL: Even if it kills.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Now wait a minute, you have to let me finish and then I will let you finish.

JEREMY SCAHILL: Go ahead.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: What I said is, we would give them the warnings.
It was part of the command and control systems. It was approved as a legitimate target under the laws of land warfare and went through the U.S. Government. That was the basis on which we struck. We actually called the bombers back one time, because there was still -- it was still unclear to us that we weren't absolutely certain. What we know is that Milosevic ordered them to stay there, and it was wrong, but I was doing my duty, and I have been looked at by the law, so -- I mean, I respect Amnesty International. I think they're a good organization, but --

JEREMY SCAHILL: But do you feel any remorse for the killing of civilians that you essentially were overseeing?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Yes, I do.

JEREMY SCAHILL: And what about the bombing of the Nis marketplace with cluster bombs, shredding human beings.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: It was terrible, but you know in that instance, if we had got the same incident, there was a cluster bomb that opened prematurely. It was an accident. And every one of these incidents was fully investigated. All of the material from the Yugoslavian government was given to the International Criminal Tribunal, plus as the NATO commander, I made a full report to the International Criminal Tribunal.
It was all investigated. The pilots who did it, nobody could have felt worse than the pilots who did it. And I got a letter from a man in Serbia who said you killed my granddaughter on a schoolyard at Nis. I know how he must have felt. And I felt so helpless about it. Every night before I let those bombs go, I prayed we wouldn't kill innocent people.
But unfortunately, when you are at war, terrible things happen, even when you don't want them to. You can't imagine what those pilots felt like in those convoys when they struck the convoys. You remember the convoys?

JEREMY SCAHILL: In Gurdulica were the 72 Albanians were killed.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: In that place, too. And they had flown over it a couple of times. You know, we just -- we were trying to establish some kind of communications on the ground with the Albanians. The Serbs were on the nets, and they were jamming all of the communications, and they were doing imitative communications deception. And nobody could get the truth about it. We saw the Serb vehicles around the place. And I didn't make the decision, but they were following orders on my command. And it was looked at, and so forth. The decision was made as a legitimate target. It turned out that they had been ordered to stay in there by the Serbs. The Serbs were surrounding the place to keep them penned in. It was horrible. You never forget stuff like that. That's why when this government has used force as it has, it makes me so angry. Because these people in the White House don't understand -- you don't use force except as a last, last, last resort.

JEREMY SCAHILL: On April 12th you targeted a passenger train, and then you showed a video that was sped up at three time the speed. Why?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: I think -- first of all, the passenger train was not targeted. The pilot's instructions were to go after a bridge, and not the train. He felt, as he launched that missile, that all of a sudden at the very last minute, the train suddenly came into his field of view. I showed the tape. I did not know that the tape was accelerated. I don't think it was three times. I think it was one-and-a-half times. Whatever it was, it was going faster than the actual speed. It made it look like it was --

JEREMY SCAHILL: But the Supreme Court Commander, you are ultimately responsible for all of the information that came out.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: That's true. I was.

JEREMY SCAHILL: What the actual in real-time speed showed is that the pilot actually moved the target so that it would hit the train.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Well, I don't have that information.

JEREMY SCAHILL: 12 people were killed, including an orthodox priest.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: That's terrible. But, I don't have the information. When I looked at it, we didn't see that. All of the material was sent to The Hague and they did not see that either.

JEREMY SCAHILL: Do you think you owe the people of Serbia who died in that war an apology?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: No, I don't because I did my duty as the commander for NATO and for the United States. I think Slobodan Milosevic owes the people of Serbia an apology, because we acted to prevent regional destabilization, and to be honest, when you take the kinds of actions that he has done, he was the proximate cause. All we tried to do was head off the ethnic cleansing through diplomacy, and basically, he had a plan to go to war, no matter what.

JEREMY SCAHILL: But now the U.S. is supporting a regime of ethnic cleansing in Kosovo where all minorities have been forced out, including almost every single Serb.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Well you know, we are trying very hard not to allow that to happen. And we have worked very hard with the Kosovo Albanians and the Serbs, but to be honest with you that regime that's north of the Ibar River is a regime that wants to prevent Serbs from living peacefully with Kosovo Albanians. So, both sides have to share the blame. They have been under the control of Seselj and also some under Milosevic and their tactic in 1999 was to provoke the retaliation by the Albanians to be able to blame the Albanians for reverse ethnic cleansing. There were -- there were crimes on both sides and they needed to be investigated. To the best of my ability as NATO commander at the time, we did.

JEREMY SCAHILL: But then why -- you have a man like Agim Ceku in power, a man who was responsible for the ethnic cleansing of the Serbs at Kraina, a man trained by MPRI in Virginia. Why put a man like that in charge? What kind of message does that send to ethnic minorities in Kosovo, when a man who is a basically a war criminal is in charge of what is going to be the future army in Kosovo.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Well, we looked at his record and it's not clear that he's going to be in charge of the future army of Kosovo. He did receive instruction from a contracted U.S. firm at MPRI. He received basic information after he became there in charge of the Kosovo protective corps. We thought that was the best way to maintain order and security in the country.

JEREMY SCAHILL: Has been accused of hate speech by the United Nations.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Lots of people in that part of the world have been accused of hate speech, and they shouldn't do it. I met with Agim Ceku a few times when I was over there, and I told him who I thought about it.
I don't accept that language.

JEREMY SCAHILL: Do you think that he should be in a position of power in Kosovo?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Well, you know, I'm so far removed from the issues right now --

JEREMY SCAHILL: But you know him.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: But I can't - yeah - I know him, but what I have seen of him, he is the one of the more reasonable people in that region.

JEREMY SCAHILL: Because in your ads you say you liberated a nation. And that's why I am asking you this question.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: The thing is I have got to talk to some other voters. Is that okay? Can you excuse me?

JEREMY SCAHILL: Absolutely. Thank you very much.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: I am trying to answer all your questions.

JEREMY SCAHILL: Thank you I appreciate it. Thank you for being patient with me.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Thank you.

AMY GOODMAN: General Wesley Clark answering the questions of Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill. The significance of that last figure, Jeremy?

JEREMY SCAHILL: I asked him about a man named Agim Ceku, who is going to be the future head of the army. Agim Ceku was an Albania commander from the United States backed Kosovo liberation army. In the 1990's, he was trained as I said there by the U.S. paramilitary firm, Military Professional Resources Inc., which is based in Virginia. They called him a model soldier. He took his training that he got from the U.S. Firm and he used it against Serbs during the war, the civil war in Yugoslavia. In August 1995, he was a commander of the four-day blitzkrieg in Kraina, in Kroatia, in which more than a quarter of million Serbs were forcibly expelled from their homes in a four-day period. The New York Times called it the single greatest ethnic cleansing of the war. He has now been put into a position of incredible power in Kosovo and Wesley Clark was one of the people who hand-picked him. And the bigger point in all of this is that as President Bush is criticized for the atrocious situation in Iraq right now, we have to remember that Wesley Clark led a 67-day bombing that was not approved by the UN. That targeted civilians and that ultimately left a region of the world destabilized and with tens of thousands of U.S. forces still deployed.

AMY GOODMAN: Jeremy Scahill reporting to us from New Hampshire.
Certainly not among the issues raised by Wesley Clark supporters at Music Hall Saturday where he was making his commercial. Maybe related to the lack of coverage of this issue, but right now, we're going to hear from some of those supporters waiting for Wesley Clark to make his entrance Saturday.

Democracy Now! Travels Around New Hampshire Speaking To Candidates and Voters

Democracy Now! traveled to New Hampshire Saturday and spent the weekend criss-crossing the state from Portsmouth to Nashua, Manchester to Concord.

With the nation's first primary just days away, people from across New Hampshire and the country braved bitter cold weekend temperatures and took to the streets in towns and cities across New Hampshire to lend support to their candidate of choice.

Voters held up signs, gave loud whoops of encouragement to passing cars and dominated speaking events and rallies.

We spoke with some of Gen. Wesley Clark's supporters awaiting his arrival at a planned rally in Portsmouth and we heard from Howard Dean supporters who crowded the streets outside the event.

The Democracy Now! team then piled into cars and drove to the neighboring New Hampshire town of Nashua where we met with one of the Democratic presidential candidates - Rep. Dennis Kucinich. We sat down to a half-hour long interview with Congressman Kucinich in his hotel room. He spoke about his campaign, the invasion and occupation of Iraq, corporate media, and much more.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, along with all the other Democratic presidential candidates - except the Rev. Al Sharpton - accepted the invitations to speak to the 100 Club dinner in the Sheraton hotel in Nashua. We raced over to the Sheraton where more than a thousand people packed into a ballroom to hear the candidates' speak. We play excerpts from Howard Dean and Senator Joseph Lieberman.

On Sunday, we drove again to Nashua to hear Senators John Kerry and John Edwards - who came in first and second in the Iowa caucuses - address packed crowds at separate rallies in the town.


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Kosovo bombing prompted by US diplomat's "deception"

The state and its citizens were bombed because of Walker and his trickery," said Covic, in a reference to the killings in the village of Racak, which Walker described as a massacre by Serb security forces, a description which international investigators have since described as rash.

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FoNet News Agency, Belgrade
January 25, 2004


BUJANOVAC -- Sunday - The head of Belgrade's Kosovo Coordination Centre, Nebojsa Covic, said today that the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia was prompted by the "deception" of US diplomat William Walker.

The state and its citizens were bombed because of Walker and his trickery," said Covic, in a reference to the killings in the village of Racak, which Walker described as a massacre by Serb security forces, a description which international investigators have since described as rash.

"If Milosevic must answer for all the things he did, then so should Walker answer for his deception, instead of showing off in Kosovo," he said.

The deputy Serbian prime minister's comments came in the context of his criticism of the province's UN governor, Harri Holkeri.

"If the special representative of the international community trusts the representatives of the Albanian ethnic community, why has he surrounded himself with a great wall in Pristina? Who does he fear?" asked Covic.

"Does he have a mandate to be afraid or to solve problems, or to feel repentant after two years, as some now feel repentant about the deception they practised in Racak," said Covic.



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Radio Netherlands: NATO bombing spree revisited

Among those testifying today are former Prime Minister Wim Kok, former Defence Minister Frank de Grave and former Foreign Minister Jozias van Aartsen. The court is to judge whether the two NATO attacks violated the principles and norms of international humanitarian law and whether the Netherlands might be held responsible.

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Radio Netherlands

Monday, 26 January, 2004
by our Internet desk, 26 January 2004

The ruins of the Radio Television Serbia (RTS) building in Belgrade, bombed on 23 April 1999.

Below: NATO cluster bombs aimed at an airfield target in the Yugoslav city of Nis accidentally hit a residential area on 7 May, 1999.

Former Dutch leaders are to appear in court today to answer questions about their role in the 1999 NATO bombing of the Serbian state radio and television building in Belgrade, in which 16 people died, and the cluster bombing of the city of Nis, which claimed 14 civilian lives.

Dutch aircraft took part in the sustained US-led bombing campaign that forced an end to the Milosevic government's ethnic cleansing of the Serbian province of Kosovo.

Among those testifying today are former Prime Minister Wim Kok, former Defence Minister Frank de Grave and former Foreign Minister Jozias van Aartsen. The court is to judge whether the two NATO attacks violated the principles and norms of international humanitarian law and whether the Netherlands might be held responsible.

Avril McDonald is an international justice expert from the Asser Institute in The Hague. In this interview with Radio Netherlands, she asserts that the Belgrade TV station was a legitimate target and that the question of responsibility is much more elusive.

"I think there was probably not a violation, the orthodox view - and I think the court would reach this conclusion - being that a radio-TV station is a legitimate military target. It relays communications amongst the enemy, it relays propaganda, and for that reason it's a legitimate target."

"Now, that's in the abstract. In this particular case, let's look at the facts. The bomb was dropped following I understand a warning given to the state and to the owners of the television station that the bomb would be dropped. This was subsequent to an apparent request that the station should give equal time to the allied propaganda as well as to Serbian propaganda. Besides, the bomb was dropped overnight. Given all of those facts, I think that this was not a war crime."

RN: "What about the cluster bombing of Nis which is also claimed to be a violation of humanitarian law. Do you think they have a case there?"

"It's a tricky question, for the simple reason that the law has just changed regarding cluster bombs. There's just been the adoption of a new prohibition on the use of cluster bombs. At the time of the Kosovo war of course, there was no such prohibition. So, certainly under conventional law, when they dropped those bombs, in principle the use of the bomb in a non-discriminate way would not be a violation of conventional humanitarian law."

Summoned to court: former Dutch Defence Minister Frank de Grave and Prime Minister Kok and

"Now, of course some might argue that the adoption of this new protocol on cluster bombs was simply recognising a pre-existing customary norm, so at the time of the Kosovo war, these were already banned."

"I think you also need to look at the way that the bombs were dropped. A cluster bomb is an inherently indiscriminate weapon in fact, which is why they have now been banned. But of course, if you were to drop a cluster bomb on an isolated military target where few, if any, civilians were killed, I think that this in principle would not be have been a violation at that time."

RN: "Suppose the court decides that it was a violation, that these were illegitimate civilian targets and not military targets, does that make the individual Dutch ministers responsible for these acts?"

"There are many legal questions which would have to be considered in this case of course. One of them indeed would be the responsibility of coalitions. The Netherlands was only one of all of the NATO states that took part in this operation. The law has developed based on the actions of states acting alone rather than in coalitions, and the law relating to the responsibility of individual members of a military coalition is not entirely settled."

"Nevertheless, I think it would not be unreasonable for a court to find that the member states of a coalition are responsible for collective decision-making. If in this case it has been suggested that the Dutch were actually kind of out of the loop and that the planning was taking place at the Pentagon, I still think there would be residual liability because of the very nature of being a member of the coalition."

"To me, it's a completely separate issue whether they communicate amongst each other as to what targets they bomb. That's not a legal question as far as I'm concerned, that's just a question of bad communication. I mean, of course, the whole point of coalition warfare doesn't mean that it gives individual states carte blanche to do what they want in an individual capacity. Of course not. Every state would always remain individually responsible for whatever it does. There might just be another layer of responsibility as well."

"So, it's not unforeseeable that the court could recognise that and there has been very limited jurisprudence to support this position: in Germany, for instance, and in Greece. It would be a brave step of the Dutch court to find this, but it wouldn't be an unprecedented step."


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A Serbian Girl wounded in a NATO attack near Kraljevo
"Collateral Damage or Massacre - NATO Bombing of Serbia"
A girl who lost her legs in the bombing campaign, Kraljevo, May 03, 1999

NEW HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH REPORT
Civilian Deaths in the NATO Air Campaign
NEW FIGURES ON CIVILIAN DEATHS IN KOSOVO WAR
(Washington, February 7, 2000) -- About five hundred civilians died in
ninety separate incidents as a result of NATO bombing in Yugoslavia last
year, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today.

NYT, Rights Group Says NATO Killed 500 Civilians in Kosovo War, Feb 7

NATO BOMBING OF YUGOSLAVIA


NATO missiles target a Serbian bridge at Grdelicka Gorge, and hit
a civilian train killing dozens of innocent civilians



"We are just little crosses on their computer displays
We are just a part of their video-game..."

Verses by contemporary Serbian poet Matija Beckovic

DOCUMENTARY
COLLATERAL DAMAGE
Available Online
Six months after NATO ended its air war against Yugoslavia, two of
Washington's new breed of hands-on policy analysts, Gary Dempsey and Aaron Lukas, flew to the Balkans to document the "unintended consequences" of NATO's bombing campaign. Equipped with the latest in mini-digital camera technology, they traveled through the region, filming patrols in Kosovo cities where NATO troops are stationed, inspecting bombed-out industrial complexes in Serbia, and interviewing Macedonians, Romanians and Bulgarians who have suffered
because of the war. "Collateral Damage: The Balkans After NATO's Air War"
is a record of their findings.

AMNESTY INTERNATINAL - NATO VIOLATIONS IN KOSOVO WAR
Amnesty International Web Site text
 

LINKS RELATED TO THE NATO BOMBING CAMPAIGN OF SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO
24 March - 10 June, 1999

DESTRUCTION OF YUGOSLAVIA - PHOTO EXIBITION
http://www.balkan-archive.org.yu/kosovo_crisis/destruction_exhibition/index.html

WHITE BOOK - NATO BOMBING OF YUGOSLAVIA - PART 1 (March 24- April 24)
http://www.balkan-archive.org.yu/kosovo_crisis/destruction/white_book/

WHITE BOOK - NATO BOMBING OF YUGOSLAVIA - PART 2 (April 25 - June 10)
http://www.balkan-archive.org.yu/kosovo_crisis/destruction/white_book2/
(detailed evidence of crimes against civilians and civilian facilities)

Bombing of Residental Houses in Towns and Villages
http://www.balkan-archive.org.yu/kosovo_crisis/destruction/white_book2/02.htm

Human Rights Watch Report - CIVILIAN DEATHS IN THE NATO AIR CAMPAIGN
http://www.hrw.org/reports/2000/nato/

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL - NATO violations of the laws of war during Operation Allied Force must be investigated
http://www.web.amnesty.org/ai.nsf/index/EUR700252000

CNN (New York Times) Rights Group says NATO killed 500 civilians in Yugoslavia
http://www.cnn.com/2000/US/02/07/nato.civilian.deaths/

Destruction and "Collateral damage"
http://www.balkan-archive.org.yu/kosovo_crisis/destruction/

NATO BOMBING IN THE EYES OF SERBIAN CHILDREN
http://www.balkan-archive.org.yu/kosovo_crisis/hope/Belgrade/

Reaction of Artists, Children and Church to the Bombing
http://www.balkan-archive.org.yu/kosovo_crisis/hope/

DESTRUCTION OF KOSOVO'S PEOPLE AND HERITAGE
http://news.serbianunity.net/documents/heritage_destruction/

***

Tears for victims of - regrettable mistake - Scott Taylor, THE TORONTO SUN, Thursday, June 3, 1999
http://www.balkan-archive.org.yu/kosovo_crisis/html/0603-1_tsun.html

Spanish pilot admits NATO attacked civilians, Jose Luis Morales, Articulo 20, June 14, 1999
http://www.balkan-archive.org.yu/kosovo_crisis/Jun_16/5.html

 


NYT: Source for USA Today reporter disputes details of Kosovo Article

A human rights advocate identified by Jack Kelley, the USA Today correspondent who resigned under pressure this month, as a source for a 1999 article about ethnic cleansing in a Kosovo village disputes many of the details in the article.

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The New York Times

BUSINESS

January 26, 2004
By JACQUES STEINBERG

A human rights advocate identified by Jack Kelley, the USA Today correspondent who resigned under pressure this month, as a source for a 1999 article about ethnic cleansing in a Kosovo village disputes many of the details in the article.

The rights advocate, Natasa Kandic, the executive director of the Humanitarian Law Center in Belgrade, made these assertions in a telephone interview from Belgrade late last week, raising further questions about the veracity of the article, which the newspaper published on its front page in July 1999.

In the article, Mr. Kelley wrote about a Yugoslav Army notebook that had a typed order to "cleanse" a Kosovo village, although he did not identify the person who showed him the notebook. He added that United Nations investigators considered this "the strongest and most direct evidence linking the government of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to 'ethnic cleansing' in Kosovo."

Last year, while being questioned during an internal investigation of his work, Mr. Kelley told senior editors that he was interviewing Ms. Kandic when he was shown the notebook by a United Nations investigator, USA Today said.

During the interview last week, Ms. Kandic disputed the size and kind of notebook Mr. Kelley said he had examined and whether the reference to "cleansing" was an order typed on official military stationery, as he had described.

Ms. Kandic, who does not specifically remember being interviewed by Mr. Kelley, told USA Today about her disagreements with the article in a meeting last October. In last week's interview, she also said that she did not believe that Mr. Kelley could have seen the notebook, as he suggested in the article. The journal, she said, was not in her possession in July 1999 but was instead being held at the headquarters of the Kosovo Liberation Army.

Mr. Kelley's editors began questioning the article, and several others he had written over the years, after receiving an anonymous complaint about his work from a USA Today staff member last May. Mr. Kelley, a foreign correspondent who reported from various war zones for more than a decade, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2002.

In an article on Jan. 13 announcing his resignation, USA Today said it had concluded a seven-month investigation of a sampling of his articles, including the article about the notebook, without having resolved "whether Kelley might have embellished or fabricated stories.'' It has since said an independent panel will assess all his work for the paper.

In his July 1999 article, Mr. Kelley referred to a three-ring notebook with a black vinyl cover that contained a direct order "typed on army stationery and stamped by the Supreme Defense Council of the Yugoslav Army Headquarters in Belgrade, which is headed by Milosevic." The order, which Mr. Kelley said was typed in Cyrillic letters and intended for a lieutenant, read: "The aim of the military activity should be to cleanse Cusk and the surrounding villages and terrain."

Mr. Kelley wrote in the article that 44 ethnic Albanian men were killed in the village of Cusk, near the western Kosovo city of Pec, in May 1999 - a massacre that Human Rights Watch, among other organizations, has documented.

Ms. Kandic said it was possible that she once met Mr. Kelley, adding that she spoke to many foreign correspondents as part of her job. But she said an officer's notebook she examined at the time in Kosovo - and which she later described in a report published by her organization - bore little resemblance to the description of the notebook in Mr. Kelley's article. She said the notebook she saw was bound and that its cover was red. And while she recalled a reference to the word "cleansing," she said the word was written, not typed, and was not contained in a military order.

A red notebook fitting the rough description provided by Ms. Kandic was later turned over to lawyers in The Hague who are prosecuting Mr. Milosevic, according to a court official, who insisted on anonymity.

Mr. Kelley said in his article that the materials contained in the notebook he examined "will be used by the U.N. war crimes tribunal investigating Milosevic and four other associates." But the court official said that no document fitting the description provided by Mr. Kelley had been received.

Karen Jurgensen, the newspaper's editor, said in a statement posted on the USA Today Web site on Jan. 13 that Mr. Kelley identified Ms. Kandic to his editors as the unnamed person who had shown him the Yugoslav Army journal. Ms. Jurgensen said Ms. Kandic told the newspaper's editors last fall that she had done no such thing.

When confronted last fall by his editors, Mr. Kelley directed his editors to another woman, who, he said, had acted as his translator on the article. The newspaper later discovered that the translator was uninvolved in the reporting, Ms. Jurgensen said in the statement. It was after being informed of that finding, Mr. Kelley resigned, Ms. Jurgensen said.

(Another woman, whom neither the newspaper nor Mr. Kelley has identified publicly, told the newspaper that she saw Mr. Kelley interview Ms. Kandic, but did not see Ms. Kandic show him a notebook during that conversation, Ms. Jurgensen said.)

Mr. Kelley has admitted, in an interview with The Washington Post, that he "panicked" during the investigation and ultimately misled his editors during parts of their inquiry but he maintains that the original article was accurate. "In my 21-year career, I have never fabricated or plagiarized a story," he said in a statement.

A lawyer representing Mr. Kelley, Lisa Banks, said on Friday that Mr. Kelley still insists that the notebook he saw had a black cover, although, she said, he now believed that what he saw might have been a photocopy.

"There's got to be a reason why Kandic is afraid to say or isn't willing to say she had the document in Belgrade," Ms. Banks said. "We just don't know what it is yet."

Ms. Banks also said she noted inconsistencies between Ms. Kandic's comments to The New York Times, as conveyed by a reporter, and another interview with her that was reported this month. On Jan. 15, Reuters, citing an interview Ms. Kandic gave to Danas, a Belgrade newspaper, quoted her as saying she "got the diary, but did not keep it," before passing it on to an investigator working with the war crimes tribunal. Ms. Banks pointed to the quotation as suggesting that Ms. Kandic might well have had a notebook to show Mr. Kelley.

Asked on Saturday to comment on Ms. Banks's assertion, Ms. Kandic said the quotation in Danas, when translated from Serbian to English, did not convey the nuance she intended. "It means I held the diary with my hands," she said, referring to her examination of it in Kosovo. She said she then handed it to the investigator, who had accompanied her, and that it was he who ultimately arranged its transfer to The Hague. It was never in her office in Belgrade, she said.

Asked if it was possible that she had made a photocopy of the notebook in Kosovo and showed Mr. Kelley a copy in her office, Ms. Kandic said no. "It was immediately after the war," she said. "The city was without electricity. It was impossible to find photocopy machines."

The newspaper and Mr. Kelley have different interpretations of an October meeting held in Washington with Brian Gallagher, the newspaper's executive editor, Ms. Kandic and Mr. Kelley. (The meeting was first disclosed in an article in The Washington Post.) Mr. Gallagher said he had permitted Mr. Kelley to sit in on the session with the hope that "seeing Jack would jog her memory." Instead, Mr. Gallagher said, Ms. Kandic said she could not recall having met Mr. Kelley before, and she then outlined differences between the notebook Mr. Kelley had described and the one she saw.

Mr. Kelley recalled the meeting differently, said his lawyer, Ms. Banks. Ms. Kandic, the lawyer said, "agreed that the document had an order to cleanse and indicated that Jack had gotten it right."

Asked on Friday if USA Today intended to publish a correction of the article, Mr. Gallagher said that no correction was planned. "Because of differing recollections, we still can't be certain what occurred," Mr. Gallagher said.


Marlise Simon, in Paris, contributed reporting for this article.

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Flash News from Kosovo and Metohija Jan 23-27, 2004

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INET News

Tuesday 27 January 2004

23:00 UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri has annulled the decision of the Kosovo parliament appointing representatives of the political group Other Communities in the parliamentary presidency, UNMIK advised.

21:40 The Kosovo ministry of education, science and technology has launched an initiative with the aim of introducing an instructional plan drafted in Pristina in Serbian schools in the Province, warned the Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija. Recently several schools in Metohija and North Mitrovica attended exclusively by Serbian children received correspondence from the ministry offering a one year contract for signature.

21:20 Radoje Prica, the head of the state union of Serbia-Montenegro parliamentary delegation to the winter session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe expressed dissatisfaction in Strasbourg with the fact that no representatives of the Serbia-Montenegro government have been invited to take part in the upcoming seminar on the state of human rights in Kosovo and Metohija, scheduled to be held on March 16 in Paris.

20:40 David Gowen, the British ambassador in Belgrade, stated that it is still too early to think about the final status of Kosovo. "We support the policy of standards before status," said Gowen after meeting in Kosovska Mitrovica with Marko Jaksic, the president of the Union of Serbian Municipalities and Settlements in Kosovo and Metohija.

20:20 Two trucks carrying food products at the border crossing Blace-Djeneral Jankovic signaled the opening of the "corridor" through the southern Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohija for the transport of goods between Macedonia and Montenegro. Zlatko Veterovski, the assistant director of the Customs Office of [FYR] Macedonia, confirmed that after two weeks of delays the corridor finally started functioning, as agreed with the customs service of the provisional administration of the UN civil mission in Pristina.

19:40 The feast day of the great Serbian St. Sava the Educator was marked today in all Orthodox churches and schools throughout Serbia and the world. Approximately 50 Serbs from North Mitrovica attended Holy Liturgy this morning in St. Sava Church in the southern part of the city in honor of the first Serbian archbishop and educator. The Serbs were transported from the north to the south part of Mitrovica in buses under the strong military escort of Greek KFOR. There were no incidents.

10:00 Bishop Artemije of Raska and Prizren condemned new initiatives for the establishment of a separate Serbian ministry for Kosovo and Metohija at yesterday's meeting of the Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija, the Coordinating Center advised.


Monday 26 January 2004

20:20 The outgoing commander of Multinational Brigade North-East Bernard Rattel assessed in Kosovska Mitrovica that despite improvements in the security situation in region, there is still the danger that violence will resume.

20:00 In the village of Veliki Trnovac near Bujanovac Albanians from the south of Serbia commemorated the four year anniversary of the founding of the so-called Liberation Army of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja.

19:40 A program for restoring key cultural monuments in the Province which attest to the inerasable mark and sovereignty of Serbia was adopted today in the Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija. A task group for protecting the Serb cultural heritage in Kosovo and Metohija was also formed, advised the Information Service of the Coordinating Center.

19:20 Political parties in the Montenegrin parliament reacted sharply to the announcement that the signing of a petition calling for the regionalization of Montenegro in areas inhabited by Albanians will resume.

14:20 Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija head Nebojsa Covic warned that every Serb had the task "of keeping up with the name of William Walker from the moment the truth about Racak was recognized".
"Our state and its citizens were bombed because of Walker and his deception and he must be held accountable for this," emphasized Covic.

Sunday 25 January 2004

21:00 Coordinating Center for Southern Serbia head Nebojsa Covic said that he expects the Serbian parliament to be constituted and a formula for choosing the government to be found because "no one will wait for us, especially not in Kosovo".

Saturday 24 January 2004

20:40 Vasil Turpukovski, a former member of the Presidency of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, now leader of the Democratic Alternative and a professor at Skopje University, said that the independence of Kosovo is a reality and that Macedonia may disappear if the creation of a Greater Albania is permitted.

20:20 Kosovo Ombudsman Marek Antoni Nowicki has sent the new secretary general of NATO Jaap de Hoop Scheffer a letter requesting monetary compensation for the families of victims killed during the NATO bombing of Kosovo and Metohija in 1999 and offering them moral satisfaction since the targets of the attacks were civilian and not military targets.

20:00 Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija head Nebojsa Covic appealed to UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri to stop terrorist and criminal factors in Kosovo and Kosovo and devote more attention to the interests of all national communities.

19:40 After a ten day interruption, collection of signatures on a petition for the establishment of three separate regions inhabited primarily by Albanians in Montenegro will continue in Malesija, the region from Podgorica to the Albanian border, said one of the organizers of this campaign, Nik Djeljosaj.

Friday 23 January 2004

22:00 The Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church appealed to the government of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to release Metropolitan Jovan of Veles and Povardarje, the exarch of the Ohrid Archdiocese, from prison, the Information Service of the Serbian Orthodox Church advised.

21:20 Kosovo ombudsman Marek Antoni Nowicki met in Pristina with Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly rapporteur Tony Lloyd and informed him regarding the situation of human rights in the Province.

21:00 In Kosovo and Metohija there is neither general nor real security, Mark Baskin, the former UN administrator for Prizren, told "Voice of America".

20:40 Dragisa Krstovic, Return Coalition (Povratak) whip in the Kosovo parliament, assessed that as far as the position of the Serbs is concerned, Kosovo is still far away from Europe.

20:20 Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija head Nebojsa Covic denied assertions by Pristina that Belgrade is not being constructive with respect to forming task groups for implementation of standards in Kosovo.

20:00 Peter Randorf, the head of the German Office in Pristina, stated that the final status of Kosovo will not be resolved against Serbia's will, adding that this condition was set by the European Union.

19:40 Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija head Nebojsa Covic stated that UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri should react immediately to the views of Kosovo president Ibrahim Rugova on the independence of Kosovo because Serbs will never accept an independent Kosovo and Metohija.

12:40 Kosovo premier Bajram Rexhepi said that he does not support the principle of multiethnicity in Kosovo in the form that the international community is attempting to impose but he called on all citizens to live together and respect one another.

12:20 UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri met with representatives of the diplomatic offices of five Western countries in Kosovo regarding privatization process issues and the Kosovo Protection Corps.

12:00 The Serb National Council of Kosovska Mitrovica expressed its concern as a result of UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri's demand that only the fates of missing Kosovo Albanians be resolved.

11:40 Kosovo premier Bajram Rexhepi invited representatives of the Serbian community to participate in the task groups for implementing standards required of Kosovo by the UN Security Council.



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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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