July 5, 2005

KiM-Info Newsletter 05-07-05 

Another explosion rocks Kosovo

EU Fiercely Condemns Violence

The EU high representative's spokesperson, Christina Gallach, told BETA that "standards could not be achieved through violence." The EU enlargement commissioner's spokesperson, Krisztina Nagy, described the attacks "as damaging to the Kosovo people."

Beta News Agency
www.seeurope.net

2005-07-05 11:17:05

Photo
 Two explosive specialists serving with the NATO-led peacekeeping force stand in front of the U.N. High Commission for Refugees in Pristina, Kosovo after receiving reports of a suspicious object inside the building, Sunday July 3, 2005, a day after three explosions, one targeting the U.N. HQ went off in Kosovo. (AP Photo/Atdhe Mulla)

A hand grenade exploded in the town of Zubin Potok, near Kosovska Mitrovica, around 2 a.m. on July 4, damaging the premises shared by the Kosovo Ministry for Return and the Serb Democratic Party, UNMIK police said on July 4.

No one was injured in the explosion, which caused serious damage to the facility, UNMIK policed said, adding that an investigation was underway.

Minister for Return Slasiva Petkovic is also the leader of the recently formed Serb Democratic Party.

The incident in Zubin Potok followed a series of explosions that rocked Kosovo last weekend. Three explosions blasted in downtown Pristina almost at the same time in the evening on July 2, but there were no casualties.

The European Union officials on July 4, fiercely condemned the latest explosions in Kosovo, in which international offices in Pristina were damaged. They stressed that these events would definitely be taken into account in the assessment of the implementation of standards, necessary for opening talks on the final status of the province.

The officials also stressed that such attacks would not at all affect the determination of the EU and other international organizations to persevere towards the stabilization of Kosovo.

The EU high representative's spokesperson, Christina Gallach, told BETA that "standards could not be achieved through violence."

The EU enlargement commissioner's spokesperson, Krisztina Nagy, described the attacks "as damaging to the Kosovo people."

Gallach said that Brussels was watching very carefully the investigation supposed to identify the perpetrators of that ruthless act and the attacks that were clearly aimed at and "represent a kind of message to the international community," in terms of its engagement in Kosovo and the ongoing processes in the province.

According to BETA's sources in the EU, several Kosovo transitional government ministers, during their visit to Brussels last week, were requested "to approach the standard assessment process, which could lead to launching the status talks, with the utmost seriousness and responsibility."

Apart from his scheduled visit to Belgrade on July 20, EU High Representative Javier Solana also plans to travel to Pristina to see the situation in Kosovo for himself.


POSITIONS OF KOSOVO ALBANIANS AND REST OF SCG CONTRARY

LUCERNE, July 4 (Tanjug) - Serbian prime minister’s advisor Aleksandar Simic told Tanjug, after the close of the regional conference on Kosovo and Metohija in the Swis city of Lucerne on Sunday, that the prevalent stand among the organizers of the meeting had been that care must primarily be taken about the interests of Kosovo Albanians. The Serbian delegation insisted on the unaceptability of the independence of that province, Simic pointed out.

“It is my im pression that, at this point, the positions of Kosovo Albanians and the rest of Serbia and Montenegro are in such contradiction that any serious dialogue about this in the future will be quite difficult,” he said. The conference on Albanians and their neighbors was organized by the Project for Ethnic Relations and the Swis government. It was aimed at considering the consequences for the region of the opening of the issue of the future status of Kosovo, the official said.

Kosovo Albanian stands were presented at the meeting - that the southern Serbian province should get independence, Simic said, while “our side reiterated that this was absolutely unacceptable for Belgrade, for any Serbian politician, or for any one representing Belgrade.”

That would be a violation of the United Nations Charter, the Helsinki Act, the conclusions of the Badintair Commission, that borders cannot be changed in a violent way, Simic pointed out.

“We were faced with one stand, that was prevalent among the organizers of the conference, and that is that care should primarily be taken about the interests of ethnic Albanians, not only in Serbia and Montenegro, but also in the wider region, in Macedonia and in other areas,” he said. The countries of the region expresed confusion and surprise at the “easily promised fast pace at which the future status of Kosovo and Metohija will be resolved,” Simic told Tanjug.


BELGRADE AUTHORITIES PRIMARY RELEVANT NEGOTIATORS ON KOSOVO-METOHIJA, SAYS IVANOVIC

UCERNE, July 4 (Tanjug) -“At the conference in Lucerne, we pointed out that the relevant negotiators with the international community, when Kosovo and Metohija is the issue, are representatives of the Belgrade authorities,” Northern Kosovo-Metohija Serb National Council President Milan Ivanovic has told Tanjug.

Speaking after the close of a regional conference on Kosovo and Metohija held in the Swiss city of Lucerne on Sunday, Ivanovic said that Switzerland, as the host of the meeting, had “played a really odd role,” in siding with one of the two oppos ing sides, and had presented “a stand on an independent Kosovo and a referen dum which would resolve the issue at the level of Kosovo and Metohija.”

Representatives of the Belgrade au thorities expressed dissatisfaction with such a stand, Ivanovic said. As a repre sentative of Serbs from Kosovo and Metohija, Ivanovic said he had made “a clear critical remark in connection with such a stand of the (Swiss) foreign minis ter who favors one side.”

Certain ethnic Albanian representa tives tried to present that a drastic im provement of the situation in Kosovo and Metohija had taken place, and they spoke about extraordinary results achieved by UNMIK chief Soren Jessen-Petersen, about the rule of law and democracy, which it was easy to negate, Ivanovic said.

“We underscored the need to resolve all issues in a dialogue between the Serb and the ethnic Albanian side in Serbia, proceeding from the top, at the level of the presidents or at the level of the prime ministers of Serbia and Kosovo-Metohija, to Kosovo and Metohija itself,” he said.

The Serb side also pointed out the importance of decentralization, “but es sential, and not decentralization such as the one ethnic Albanians themselves worked out within a pilot project, symbolic decentralization actually,” he said.

“We also pointed out the bad security situation, which was confirmed by the explosions in Pristina,” he said.


On the spot: Films on Kosovo and Metohija

Serb Villages around Pec (3 minutes)

Members of the chorus of the Church of the Holy Mother of God from Belgrade visited Kosovo-Metohija in April this year and they passed through deserted and destroyed Serb villages around the town of Pec – Pocesce, Gronji Vragovac, Donji Vragovac, Babic, and Glavicica.

With their video camera, they recorded razed and torched homes, a desecrated cemetery in Gornji Vragovac, as well as debris from the destroyed houses scattered on the fertile land.

Real Video Stream  |MPEG-4 download (file size 9.4MB).

Get Real Video Player (you need version 9 or later) | Get QuickTime Player To save an .MPEG-4 file onto your computer do right click and "Save Target As..." (Internet Explorer) or "Save Link As ... " (Netscape, Mozilla). Then play back from your hard disk.

Films on Kosovo and Metohija by Ninoslav Randjelovic


 
 
PHOTO CHOICE
 
  
Partriarch Pavle congratulating Independence Day to Michael Polt, the US
Ambassador in Serbia-Montenegro, and his wife, July 4, 2005, Belgrade

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