November 14, 2005

KiM Info Newsletter 14-11-05

The Contact Group's Guiding Principles for a Settlement of Kosovo's Status

November 2005

The Contact Group has considered UN Secretary-General's letter and Ambassador Kai Eide's report on the comprehensive review of the situation in Kosovo contained therein that were submitted to the UN Security Council on 7 October 2005.

The Contact Group supports the recommendation by the Secretary-General to the UN Security Council based on this report to launch a process to determine the future status of Kosovo in accordance with UNSC Res 1244. It welcomes the intention of the Secretary-General to appoint a Special Envoy to lead this process. The Contact Group looks forward to supporting the efforts of the Special Envoy and his team.

A negotiated solution should be an international priority. Once the process has started, it cannot be blocked and must be brought to a conclusion. The Contact Group calls on the parties to engage in good faith and constructively, to refrain from unilateral steps and to reject any form of violence. Those advocating violence will have no role. The Special Envoy can take appropriate action within his UUN mandate to suspend or exclude any individual or group, if he judges that their actions are not conducive to progress.

The Contact Group calls on all parties to establish unified negotiating teams and agree on common positions.

The process should provide for the effective participation of the Kosovo Serbs and other Kosovo citizens and communities. Regional neighbors and other interested parties should also be consulted as necessary.

The progress of the status process will depend not only on the level of engagement by the parties but also on the conditions on the ground. The implementation of the standards laid down by the United Nations must continue during the status process and will be a factor in determining progress.

The Contact Group reaffirms the importance which it attaches to constructive and sustained dialogue at all levels between Belgrade and Pristina and between the different communities in Kosovo. It asks the authorities in Belgrade to actively encourage the Serbs of Kosovo to take their place in Kosovo's institutions.

The UN Security Council will remain actively seized of the matter. The final decision on Kosovo's Status should be endorsed by the UN Security Council.

The Contact Group therefore informs all the involved parties that the outcome of the Status process should be based on the principles set out below:

1. The settlement of the Kosovo issue should be fully compatible with international standards of human rights, democracy and international law and contribute to regional security.

2. The settlement of Kosovo's status should conform with democratic values and European standards and contribute to realizing the European perspective of Kosovo, in particular, Kosovo's progress in the Stabilization and Association Process, as well as the integration of the entire region in Euro-Atlantic institutions.

3. The settlement should ensure multi-ethnicity that is sustainable in Kosovo. It should provide effective constitutional guarantees and appropriate mechanisms to ensure the implementation of human rights for all citizens in Kosovo and of the rights of members of all kosovo.netmunities, including the right of refugees and displaced persons to return to their homes in safety.

4. The settlement should provide mechanisms to ensure the participation of all kosovo.netmunities in government, both on the central and on the local level. Effective structures of local self government established through the decentralization process should facilitate the coexistence of different communities and ensure equitable and improved access to public services.

5. The settlement of Kosovo's status should include specific safeguards for the protection of the cultural and religious heritage in Kosovo. This should include provisions specifying the status of the Serbian Orthodox Church's institutions and sites and other patrimony in Kosovo.

6. The settlement of Kosovo's status should strengthen regional security and stability. Thus, it will ensure that Kosovo does not return to the pre-March 1999 situation. Any solution that is unilateral or results from the use of force would be unacceptable. There will be no changes in the current territory of Kosovo, i.e. no partition of Kosovo and no union of Kosovo with any country or part of any country. The territorial integrity and internal stability of regional neighbors will be fully respected.

7. The status settlement will ensure Kosovo's security. It will also ensure that Kosovo does not pose a military or security threat to its neighbors. Specific provisions on security arrangements will be included.

8. The settlement of Kosovo's status should promote effective mechanisms to strengthen Kosovo's ability to enforce the rule of law, to fight organized crime and terrorism and safeguard the multiethnic character of the police and the judiciary.
9. The settlement should ensure that Kosovo can develop in a sustainable way both economically and politically and that it can cooperate effectively with international organizations and international financial institutions.

10. For some time Kosovo will continue to need an international civilian and military presence to exercise appropriate supervision of compliance of the provisions of the status settlement, to ensure security and, in particular, protection for minorities as well as to monitor and support the authorities in the continued implementation of standards.

(KIM Info received the document from diplomatic sources)


UN envoy Ahtisaari opposes time limit for Kosovo talks

HELSINGIN SANOMAT (FINLAND)
Monday 14.11.2005

Former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, the newly-appointed special representative of the United Nations for talks on the future of Kosovo, does not want to set a time limit for the talks.

"It is impossible to say how long this will take - and it would be completely irresponsible, as I have not yet been in touch with the parties involved", Ahtisaari said in Helsinki on Friday.

He was speaking at a press conference in Helsinki convened after his appointment had been officially confirmed by the UN Security Council on Thursday.

Ahtisaari will move to Vienna for the post. He will make a two-week tour of Kosovo and Serbia later this month. During the trip he will also visit the capitals of Albania, Macedonia, and Montenegro.

Ahtisaari, who has extensive experience as a peace mediator, compared his Kosovo challenge with his previous missions by noting that it is "certainly not any easier than the previous ones". However, he did not want to overemphasise the difficulties of the task.

Ahtisaari described himself as a "born optimist". He also said that another factor drawing him back to Kosovo was his "Protestant ethics"; he felt that he still has unfinished business in the region.

In 1999, during NATO's air campaign against Serbia, Ahtisaari persuaded President Slobodan Milosevic to pull Serb forces out of Kosovo.

He also said that it would be "irresponsible" of him to speculate on the result of the negotiations, emphasising that the schedule, and the result, depend on the parties to the discussions.

The process leading to Ahtisaari's appointment took longer than expected.
The Security Council added an appendix to the letter of confirmation, in which the "contact group" of six countries gave recommendations for the mandate of the special envoy.

Ahtisaari said that he felt that his mandate was flexible enough, and that he was satisfied with it.

As his deputy in the talks, Ahtisaari will have Albert Rohan, an Austrian, and he might also get a number of other temporary substitutes. In addition, he will maintain contact with envoys named by the European Union, Russia, and the United States.

There will be more analysis of Ahtisaari's new mission in our weekly feature articles on Tuesday.


UN envoy warns against haste in Kosovo status talks

BRUSSELS, Nov 14 (AFP) - The UN's special envoy for the future status of Kosovo, Finland's former president Martti Ahtisaari, warned Monday about "rushing unnecessarily" to a solution in the long-awaited talks.

"I think everyone understands that this process can't go on forever and we have to go forward as fast as we can without rushing unnecessarily, but we will definitely move with determined speed," he told a news conference in Brussels.

"To those who say three or four months, I'm prepared to offer my job immediately," he added.

Kosovo is formally a province of Serbia, but since 1999, when NATO intervened militarily, it has been under United Nations administration.

On November 1, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan appointed Ahtisaari as his special envoy to Kosovo after the Security Council gave its seal of approval for the start of talks on its future.

The key issue in the talks will be whether or not the province should be allowed to become independent as sought by its Albanian majority, a demand opposed by Belgrade.

Ahtisaari said he would open initial talks during a first visit to the region next week which includes stops in Pristina, Belgrade, Skopje and Tirana.

"Of course, I'm primarily to go there to listen to what the primary actors in the region have to say", he said.

Ahtisaari said he aimed to start working as of next year from Vienna, where the secretariat for the talks is to be based.

While not devolving details about how he plans to conduct the negotiations, he backed direct talks between Pristina and Belgrade and between Kosovar Serbs and Albanians.

He said he understood that there have been "working level contacts already... my task will definitely be to encourage that."


NATO Assembly adopts Kosovo resolution

B92, Belgrade
November 14, 2005

COPENHAGEN -- Monday - The NATO Parliamentary Assembly, meeting in Copenhagen, has abandoned an planned resolution on Kosovo which prejudiced the outcome of status negotiations by calling for conditional independence for the province.

Instead, the 51st Annual Meeting of the Western alliance's Parliamentary Assembly has adopted a resolution calling for the continued application of UN Security Council Resolution 1244.

The head of the Serbia-Montenegro delegation to the meeting, Aleksandar Pravdic, said that the new resolution insists that the talks on the eventual status of Kosovo must not be prejudiced.

"All delegates at the NATO Assembly supported our demand that the resolution calling for conditional independence could nut stand, so the new resolution is acceptance of UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and a call to governments for full support of the Euro-Atlantic integration of the region.

"It supports the implementation of standards, the established process of decentralisation, protection of the rights of Serbs and other minorities and, of course, securing effective protection of the cultural and religious legacy," said Pravdic.


Russia Wants Kosovo to Remain Part of Serbia — MP
MosNews

Deputy speaker of the Russian Duma (low chamber of the Russian parliament) Sergei Baburin has said that Moscow will never recognize the independence and occupation of Kosovo and Metohija and will always support solutions that leave the southern Serbian province as part of Serbia, the Montenegrin Dan newspaper reported.

“We are prepared to help Serbia but the leadership of Serbia-Montenegro must first do more to solve the Kosmet (Serbian term for Kosovo) problem,” Baburin said in an interview with the paper during a visit of Russian and Belarusian parliamentary delegations to Belgrade.

According to Baburin, the Serbian government must ask international organizations for help regarding the implementation of the UN Resolution on Kosovo so that the province remains part of the country.

He believes that Belgrade and the Serbian parliament should make tangible moves and submit a plan to solve the Kosmet problem, in order to provide Russia with enough space to manoeuvre and use diplomatic methods to support Kosovo and Metohija to remain part of Serbia in line with the resolution.

“…The Russians have on several occasions supported Serbia in world organizations, but we were asked why we were doing this when Serbian officials remained silent,” Baburin pointed out.

“We are prepared to support Serbia as far as the Kosmet issue is concerned, but Belgrade must first define its position clearly,” he said.
The official was unable to say if Russia would use its veto in the UN Security Council if Kosovo was granted independence.


"Situation in is Kosovo critical, must be solved carefully", warns Bill Clinton

SEE, PRAGUE, November 11, 2005

The situation in the south Serbian province of Kosovo is critical and must be solved very carefully, former U.S. president Bill Clinton said at the conference of the Club of Madrid in Prague today.

Clinton said that he has always supported the freedom of Kosovo.

He said that it is necessary to maintain two things in the province - the peace and respect for legitimate rights of the citizens, including the minorities.

He said that what the Serbs did to Kosovar Albanians was horrible but that the Albanians should not do the same in revenge.

Clinton was U.S. president from 1993 to 2001. Under his presidency, the Allies headed by the USA waged a war against former Yugoslavia in 1999 that resulted in the departure of Yugoslav troops from Kosovo which has now been under the administration of the United Nations.

Clinton said that mutual respect is necessary also in other parts of the world, for example between Christians and Muslims. Turkey should definitely join the EU because of this to become a defence wall against Islamic fundamentalism and terror, he added.

The Club of Madrid was established by former heads of state and government in Madrid in October 2001 at the end of an international conference on the transition to democracy. The present conference is its first event held outside of Spain.


Serbs in enclaves waiting for resolution of Kosovo’s final status

UNMIK Media Monitoring - from Koha Ditore (K-Albanian daily, Nov 14)

One of the leading stories in today’s Koha Ditore is an article on the expectations of Kosovo Serbs from the settlement of Kosovo’s status. “Kosovo Serbs have two stories about Kosovo. A large part of them cannot imagine life in an independent Kosovo. Another part, which lives in good economic conditions, says that they will wait for the end of negotiations ‘and then we’ll see what we’ll do’,” the paper elaborates.

Koha describes the lives of Serbs living in Gracanica, northern Mitrovica and Shtërpce, and even starts the article by saying that a soccer bet is the first thing that a 27 year-old Serb in Gracanica, Jovica Stevic, hopes will improve his life in Kosovo before the status resolution. The paper says that to make matters worse the Serb thinks that things will get even worse if Kosovo gets independence in the near future. “For us it will be bad even if Kosovo gets independence. There is no security, no work and no money,” he was quoted as saying.

At the same time, Koha portrays the other side of the story by describing the life of a Kosovo Serb woman, Vesna Arsic, who works as head of the branch of an international bank in Gracanica. “Let us wait and see the conclusion of negotiations and see what happens. I think the most important thing is the financial wellbeing, because it has a huge impact on people’s perception of life,” she was quoted as saying.

Stevic told the paper that the day Kosovo gets independence all Serbs would pack up and leave, whereas Arsic spoke positively about the situation in the enclave of Gracanica. “Most of the people here have jobs and even receive two salaries, one from the Kosovo Budget and one from the Serbian Government. Therefore, it is quite normal that most of them would like this to continue as long as possible,” she added.

Koha also describes the situation in the divided town of Mitrovica. After the war, the paper says, the northern part turned into a haven for Serbs that came from other parts and who mainly inhabited the houses and apartments of Albanians that fled to the southern part. Jasminka Scekic, a student and journalist for Radio Free Europe, said she felt happy to live in northern Mitrovica. “Belgrade is so close, we are safer here and we have everything here. I don’t know if I could live in any other part of Kosovo,” said Scekic. Asked about her perception of the future, she mentioned conditional independence for Kosovo and a municipality of northern Mitrovica. “In this way, people would live in peace”. Jasminka however added that once she finishes her studies she would leave for Serbia.

Petar Miletic, editor of Radio Contact Plus in northern Mitrovica, told the paper he doesn’t believe the final status would resolve the problems of any party in Kosovo. According to Miletic, the Kosovo Government uses the issue of status as cover up for its problems and weaknesses. The paper notes that Miletic made an assessment “that is rarely heard among Mitrovica Serbs,” by saying that it is unrealistic to expect Kosovo’s return under Serbia. “I think that Serbia should not interfere in affairs here, after all we are a minority,” said Miletic, “But the Kosovo Government must try to ensure our basic rights.”


Croats in Kosovo Seek Protection Because of Albanians' Actions

FOCUS NEWS ENGLISH (BULGARIA)
13 November 2005 | 15:17 | FOCUS News Agency

Pristina. The Croats living in Kosovo and Metohija sent letters to the representatives of all international and local organizations in Pristina and to the President of Croatia Stipe Mesic demanding that their rights be defended from the actions of the Albanians, RTS reports.

According to the last census of the population in 1991 some 20,000 Croats were living in Kosovo. Now 6,000 remained to live in the region, the media reports.


Series of Killings Hit KLA Leaders in Balkans

New Extremist Arms Emerge Defense & Foreign Affairs Special Analysis -
November 5, 2005 Saturday

Exclusive By Valerie Spyroglou, GIS Station South-East Europe.

Two mysterious deaths were unveiled in Kosovo and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) during the past months. They were believed to have resulted from secret operations under the framework to fight against terrorism.

On July 13, 2005, at 15:40hrs local, in the area Gniliance, in the Serbian Province of Kosovo, the commandant of the Albanian UCPMB ("Liberation Army of Presheva [Presevo], Medvegja, and Bujanovac"), Mohamet Tzemaili -- known as "Rebeli" (as heard; correct spelling not known) -- was found dead in his car, in an agricultural district. The death appeared to be an accident.

Tzemaili, however, was a tough extremist holding close connections with fundamentalist centers in Bosnia, where he had fought during 1993-1995.

"Rebeli" was a member of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA, also known as UCK:

Ushtria Clirimtare e Kosoves, Albanian), while later he joined the UCPMB, which is a branch of KLA in south Serbia, in the Presevo valley.

On the same date, at 23:30hrs, a close associate of "Rebeli", Nouri Mazari, was assassinated outside a bar in FYROM, in the city Struga. Mazari was a member of UCPMB, a volunteer in the Bosnian war in the 1990s, and an active member of the Kosovo Islamists.

On July 12, 2005, a group of Albanian extremists attacked the police station in the village of Vranitsa, close to the city of Tetovo in FYROM. None of the six police officers was hurt.

On July 17, 2005, Albanians extremists attacked with explosives the police station of the district of Bit Bazar in FYROM, with no injuries. For this attack two Albanians -- 19 and 20 years old -- were arrested on August 18, 2005.

On September 5, 2005, the police of FYROM in the village Kodovo seized a large cache of weapons and ammunitions and one 75mm anti-tank PAO and two missile launchers. Kodovo was the center of the Albanian revolt in 2001 in FYROM, while recently Kodovo was controlled by Albanian extremists who were requesting the liberation of the Albanian war criminals.

Since May 2005 it has been observed that KLA extremist groups in Kosovo and FYROM have been reactivated. Analysis made by NATO intelligence reveals that the internal situation in Kosovo is very dangerous and new revolts are forecast, on a larger scale than those of March 2004.

The KLA, then, remains active and has regrouped in order to form a standing army of a proposed independent state of Kosovo. The KLA has already created the spearhead for the national unification of the Albanians -- Front Nacionalno Ujedinewe Albanaca (FNUA) -- which has absorbed the Albanian National Army (Anacalbanska Nacionalna Armija: ANA), and the Albanian liberation army (NLA). Additionally, a national committee has been created for the liberation and defense of the Albanian territory. The group was named as Nacionalni Komitet Za Osloboewe I Odbranu Suin Albanskih Teritorija (NKOOAT).

Meanwhile, ANA consists of the following divisions:

(a) Division "Adem Jaferi" for southern Serbia (Presevo, Medveza, Bougianobats) and northern Kosovo;

(b) Division "Skenderloeg" for western FYROM;

(c) Division "Jamerija" for northwest Greece; and

(d) Division "Magesija" for Montenegro.

Politically, the FNUA consists of committees responsible for Pristina, Tirane, FYROM, Preveza-Greece, and the Albanian diaspora.

The Albanian politicians of Kosovo and the negotiators over the status of Kosovo are now also being threatened by Albanian extremists who have demanded the independence of Kosovo prior to the negotiations.

The Army for the Independence of Kosovo (UPK) was presented in mid-October 2005, and it stated that it followed "the irresponsible work of the Kosovar negotiators" and for that reason five groups had been activated. Also, it said that if the politicians would not support the orders as these have been stated by the people, they would go through very difficult times on the following days. UPK would have to "follow the decisions of their command".


KOSOVO MOVEMENT CALLS FOR UNIFICATION OF ALL "ALBANIAN TERRITORIES"

BBC Monitoring International Reports - November 12, 2005

Text of report in English by independent internet news agency KosovaLive

Prishtina [Pristina], 11 Nov (KosovaLive) - The National Movement for the Liberation of Kosova [Kosovo] [LKCK] said today in Malisheve [Malisevo] that the only right solution for Kosova is its unification with other Albanian territories, adding that the current solution being prepared is a result of the influence of great powers.

The chairman of party branch in Malisheve, Smajl Latifi, said during a debate with citizens that the LKCK will continue its efforts for unification of all Albanian territories, because according to him this is the only right solution.

"We work for unification of Albanian territories, and every other solution is unacceptable for us " said Latifi, adding that they are also against the temptations to change the national flag and anthem.

Izet Shala, member of the LKCK Presidency said that unification of Albanian territories is a constitutional obligation for Albania, as well.

Source: KosovaLive website, Pristina, in English 11 Nov 05


Belgrade Media Update, November 14, 2005

Ahtisaari: Unrealistic to Resolve Kosovo Status in Three or Four Months

Martti Ahtisaari, who has been confirmed as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the talks on Kosovo’s future status by the UN Security Council last Friday, stated the same day in Helsinki that it would be “totally irresponsible” for him to set the date for the start of the talks and added that the pace of negotiations would largely depend on the negotiating parties. Noting claims that Kosovo's final status could be resolved in a matter of months were unrealistic, he commented: "I would like to offer my job to those who say that the negotiations might last only three or four months." Ahtisaari announced that he would depart for Pristina, Belgrade, Podgorica, Tirana and Skoplje on November 21. Speaking to the BBC, he underlined that the implementation of the standards must continue even after the start of the talks on Kosovo’s status, and added: “The message is clear: the sooner standards are fulfilled, the more we will be able to discuss status.” Commenting that the talks did not have a time limit, but that he had no intention of allowing them to drag on forever, Ahtisaari added that their duration would depend on the Kosovo Albanians’ ability to fulfil their obligations, Belgrade media reported over the weekend.

Ahtisaari’s deputy Albert Rohan told the Vienna daily Die Presse on Saturday that no official talks will be held in the first stage of the negotiations, before some kind of agreement is reached, as "otherwise, we would have a conference at which both sides would voice their stands and that would guarantee failure.” He added that “there will be nothing like the Dayton conference on Bosnia, during which all the participants would be confined in a military base until they reached an agreement." Announcing that the negotiators would travel to Pristina within two-three weeks in order to meet with Kosovo Albanians and Serbs, Rohan commented that "the Albanians will voice their stand on independence, but our message will be that before we can discuss the future status of Kosovo, they must tell us how they intend to resolve a number of issues," pointing out that they must find answers for issues such as the status of the Serb community and other minorities in Kosovo, the protection of the Serbian Orthodox churches and the fight against crime and corruption. As for the Kosovo Serbs, he commented that the negotiators will tell them “that they must send their representatives in the existing institutions and that they must actively participate in the negotiations so they could stress that they want a future in Kosovo,” Politika daily reported.


Tadic: Status Talks to be Addressed Calmly and Rationally

Serbian President Boris Tadic, who left yesterday on a several day visit to Russia where he is to meet, among others, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Patriarch Aleksey II, emphasized in a conversation with Czech Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek in Belgrade on Saturday, that Kosovo’s independence was unacceptable to Serbia and would be a dangerous legal precedent. Addressing the press upon the meeting, he assessed that, although Belgrade’s position is very difficult regarding Kosovo, he believes that Serbia would manage to defend its interests on the basis of the principles of international law and democratic values. Warning that Kosovo’s independence would cause new problems in the Balkans, he announced that Serbia was prepared for the beginning of the negotiations on the final status of the province, and underlined that “Serbia is entering the negotiations by respecting the international law and wishing a peaceful and compromise solution,” Tanjug news agency reported.

Reacting to the statement of Slovenian President Janez Drnovsek, who stated earlier in the day while visiting the Serbian Orthodox Church’s Monastery in Gracanica that Kosovo was already de facto independent, he commented that "we have enough unilateral conclusions from a number of politicians abroad, enough so-called patriots on both the Serb and Albanian sides, enough of those who are bent on introducing discord and instability in these talks that have yet to begin," and called on foreign statesmen, Drnovsek included, to avoid "unilateral statements concerning the status (of Kosovo)" in the future. Tadic further commented that "we need to address these negotiations in a completely rational and calm way, with a clear plan and goal. We need to exercise a responsible approach to the talks, not only for the sake of our own nations, but the entire region and Europe as well," Beta news agency reported.


Serbian Government to Adopt Resolution on Kosovo Tomorrow

Serbian Premier Vojislav Kostunica will schedule an extraordinary session of the Serbian Government on Nov. 15 with the sole purpose of adopting the Resolution on Kosovo that will contain the platform for the upcoming negotiations on the future status of the province, announced the head of the government’s office for relations with the media Srdjan Djuric last Friday. He told Beta that the resolution would then be forwarded to the Serbian Parliament.

Commenting on the forthcoming adoption of a Resolution on Kosovo, Serbian President’s advisor Leon Kojen said in a column placed in Blic daily on Saturday that it must do more than advocate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia and explained that "the resolution will clearly lay out the details of the 'more than autonomy, less than independence' policy and demonstrate that Serbia's readiness to compromise is not mere talk, but a clear political determination based on which we are entering the Kosovo status talks.” He further elaborated that, unless Serbia does so, "we will bolster the case of those who are saying that an imposed solution is the only way to bridge the gap between the Albanian demands for independence and our calls for the preservation of the territorial integrity of Serbia and Serbia-Montenegro," Beta reported.

Diplomatic statements on Kosovo negotiations (Politika/BBC/Die Presse)

The UN Special Envoy for negotiations on Kosovo, former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari has underlined in a statement to the BBC that standard fulfilment must continue even after the commencement of negotiations on the status of the southern Serbian province. Explaining that “status and standards are on the agenda,” Ahtisaari added: “The message is clear: the sooner standards are fulfilled, the more we will be able to discuss status.” He added “this had also been stressed by the UN Secretary-General and Ambassador Kai Eide in his report.” Austrian diplomat Albert Rohan, Deputy UN Special Envoy for the negotiations on Kosovo’s status, has excluded the possibility of holding a conference, like the one in Dayton, in resolving the future of the Serbian province. He told the Vienna daily Die Presse that there would not be formal negotiations in the first phase of the negotiations before some kind of agreement is reached. Otherwise, we would have a conference at which both sides would only bring their stands. “There will be no conference like the one in Dayton, during which all participants would be closed in a military base towards reaching an agreement, as it was regarding Bosnia,” he said. He announced that the negotiators would travel to Pristina within two-three weeks in order to meet with Kosovo Albanians and Serbs. According to him, Albanians must find the answers to the questions of the status of the Serb community and other minorities in Kosovo, protection of Serb religious facilities, struggle against crime and corruption. “We will tell the Kosovo Serbs that they must send their representatives in the existing institutions and that they must actively participate in the negotiations so they could stress that they want a future in Kosovo,” said the former secretary general of the Austrian Foreign Ministry.

Ahtisaari’s Advisor Kai Sauer (Politika)

Martti Ahtisaari’s Political Advisor Kai Sauer has recently been appointed to the post of Director of the Sector for West Balkans with the Finnish Foreign Ministry. Sauer worked in the OSCE in B&H, the Finnish Embassy in Croatia, the Permanent Mission of Finland in the UN in New York and UNMIK. Sauer graduated from the Tampere University.

Eide: “Fragile” situation in Kosovo (Politika/Tanjug)

The UN Special Envoy for Standards in Kosovo Kai Eide has, in Copenhagen, called on official Washington to continue engagement in Kosovo, as much as is necessary. Speaking at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Ambassador Eide has presented his report on the “fragile” situation in Kosovo and assessed the presence of the US as necessary within KFOR, as well as their support for the process of determining the future status of the province and providing stability.

Amended draft resolution of NATO Parliamentary Assembly (Vecernje Novosti/RTS)

At the request of the SCG delegation in Copenhagen at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the draft resolution was amended, which prejudged the future status of Kosovo in the sense of conditional independence. RTS reports that Resolution 28, proposed by Italian MPs Umberto Kuandes and Carlo Moniti, and which prejudged the future status of Kosovo in the sense of its conditional independence, was amended.

Kostunica to convene early Serbian Parliament session (Blic/Srna)

Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica will convene for Tuesday an early Serbian Parliament session at which the draft resolution on Kosovo will be adopted, it was confirmed by the Government Office for Cooperation with the Media.

Raskovic-Ivic appeals with the Diaspora to help (Vecernje Novosti/Beta)

The Head of the CCK Sanda Raskovic-Ivic has appealed at the Congress of Serb Unity in Las Vegas for the support of the Serb Diaspora on the eve of the beginning of negotiations on the future status of Kosovo. “We want to warn that the Balkan region, Europe or the international community cannot sustain the precedent if there is a violation of international law in resolving the future status of Kosovo,” she told the congress participants.

Drnovsek: Kosovo is already independent (Vecernje Novosti)

Slovenian President Janez Drnovsek has stated in Gracanica that Kosovo is de facto already independent, adding that Serbs should be provided the protection of autonomy, religious and cultural monuments. Following the tour of the Gracanica Monastery, Drnovsek told the press that the Serb religious and cultural monuments would thus receive an ex-territorial status.

Vajgl on Drnovsek’s statement (Blic/Beta)

Slovenian Foreign Minister Ivo Vajgl has stated that Slovenian President Janez Drnovsek had not spoken for a single moment on Kosovo’s final status. Asked by the press whether Kosovo can be only an independent state, the Slovenian President has stated it will be the way Serb and Albanian sides agree, Vajgl told Beta.

Draskovic unpleasantly surprised (Glas/Tanjug)

The SCG Foreign Minister Vuk Draskovic has told the Ljubljana newspaper Dnevnik that it is unthinkable for the Slovenian President, with whom we had lived in union for 50 years, to state that Kosovo should be independent, Tanjug reports. Draskovic recalled that the conclusion of the Banditer Commission that all the former SFRY republics had the right to cessation, under the condition that their inhabitants wished so. “Kosovo and Vojvodina have never been republics and that is why Drnovsek’s statement unpleasantly surprised him,” said Draskovic.

Serbian Orthodox Church on Drnovsek’s statement (Glas/Tanjug)

The Backa Bishop Irinej has conveyed, as authorized by Serbian Patriarch Pavle, that the entire Serbian Orthodox Church is amazed and embittered with the impermissible and inappropriate statements by Slovenian President Janez Drnovsek on the future status of Kosovo. Serbian Prime Minister’s Advisor Vladeta Jankovic also considers that Drnovsek’s statement, if correctly quoted, represents a drastic example of non-statesmanlike behaviour.

Radosavljevic for Serb Kosovo Assembly (Glas/Beta)

Member of the State Council for Kosovo Nenad Radosavljevic has proposed the founding of a Serb Kosovo Assembly that would unite representatives of the Raska-Prizren Eparchy, association of IDPs, Kidnapped and Missing, and the Pristina University, Beta reports. He assessed that only such an assembly could be a negotiator and equal partner to international institutions and state of Serbia for “establishing a correct system in Kosovo” and calming down of state-of-affairs.


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