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The Information Service of the Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija

Daily press briefing of the Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija

Gracanica, November 2, 2000 [ADDITION]

Enclosed are the opinions and viewpoints of Serb representatives in Kosovo and Metohija who are not directly involved in the work of the Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija. In this manner, we wish to inform our readers of the entire spectrum of political opinions of the Kosovo Serbs in this politically most sensitive period.

The Information Service of the SNC

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serbian language text - http://www.dss.org.yu/prikazi.asp?broj=1515

Marko Jaksic, vice-president of the DSS and representative of the SNC of Kosovska Mitrovica, November 1, 2000

Serbs can only be appointed to office by the people

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA - The vice-president of the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS), Marko Jaksic, stated on November 1 in Kosovska Mitrovica that the Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS) in Kosovo and Metohija opposes the participation of the Serbs in municipal organs of government after the local elections held on October 28 in the province.

"The Serbs did not participate in the elections and no one has the right to appoint them except the Serb people," said Jaksic at a press conference held at DSS offices in Mitrovica.

The DOS in Kosovo and Metohija did not submit lists with the names of Serbs who might possibly appointed to local organs of government in the province, added Marko Jaksic.

Jaksic said of the prisoners being detained in the Kosovska Mitrovica jail that "a price is being paid by those Serbs who remained in Kosovo and Metohija and who are being arrested by UNMIK police without evidence."

"They are political prisoners and (UNMIK head) Bernard Kouchner is forming a political judicial system. No one empowered him to form a Kosovo judicial system, to issue decrees and to take apart the Serbian state by bringing back abrogated laws," said Jaksic.

DSS vice-president Marko Jaksic asked that justice be the same for both Serbs and Albanians and that all innocent Serbs currently being held be freed from prison, and that only those against whom evidence and witnesses exist be tried.

(Beta)

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serbian language text - http://blic.gates96.com/danas/broj/strane/politika.htm#1

Blic, Belgrade, Yugoslavia, November 3, 2000

Oliver Ivanovic, president of the SNC KM, claims

Kosmet is the biggest problem of the FRY government

BELGRADE - "The victory of Ibrahim Rugova in the local elections in Kosovo means nothing to the Serbs because Rugova's party and Hashim Thaci's party have the same view of resolving problem in Kosovo. Namely, both parties are advocating the independence of Kosmet and have the same negative stance toward the Serbs in this province," said Oliver Ivanovic, the president of the Serb National Council of Kosovska Mitrovica and added:

"The Serbs were not interested in these elections, first and foremost, due to the lack of security for the lives and property of the Serbs, a minimal degree of freedom of movement, but also because of the fact that Resolution 1244 is not being implemented, especially the part which relates to the return of the Serbs to Kosovo."

BLIC: How will the Serbs constitute a local government in municipalities where they are in the majority, considering that they did not participate in elections?

IVANOVIC: Local government in those municipalities will be constituted on the basis of proposals which we will offer but we will have the responsibility of leaving aside an adequate number of seats for the non-Serb population. I expect difficult negotiations on the constitution of governments in Kosovska Mitrovica, Strpci and Novo Brdo, were Serbs are in the majority. According to some plans it is foreseen that in these municipalities the Serbs will have the same number of assembly representatives as the other nationalities; this is unacceptable to us because the Serbs must not feel endangered.

BLIC: The new federal government has announced the formation of a commission on Kosovo within the federal government.

IVANOVIC: I expect the new federal government to establish a ministry, not a commission, on Kosovo because the establishment of such a ministry would signal the determination and desire of FRY president Vojislav Kostunica to help the Serbs in Kosovo. The establishment of a commission would have a poor response among the Serbs in the province because it not provide guarantees that things will get better for us. Kosmet is the biggest problem of the current Yugoslav government.

BLIC: Will the return of FRY to the UN be helpful for Resolution 1244 to begin to be honored, especially with respect to the part relating to the return of the Serbs to Kosovo?

IVANOVIC: I expect that the Serbs will begin to return to Kosovo in spring of next year. If this does not happen, I am not optimistic with regard to the resolution of the Kosmet problem because tensions would increase and we can expect a new war. As far as the international community is concerned, so far it has used Milosevic's regime as an excuse for non-implementation of Resolution 1244.

BLIC: Is there a possibility of the Serbs creating a common platform for the resolution of problems in Kosovo?

IVANOVIC: Yes, because there are no differences among us with regard to goals and those are the survival of the Serbs in the province and the return of those who have left. The differences lie in the methods to achieve those goals. In Kosmet it is necessary to provoke a crisis in the UNMIK government because their mission is a failure and they are hiding this by organizing elections and creating the impression that they are introducing democracy. The participation of the Serbs in the Interim Administrative Council of Kosovo and the Kosovo Transitional Council are only helping them do this. In this manner, we are giving legitimacy to what the international mission is doing, which is not beneficial to the Serbs.

BLIC: What do you expect from (Serbian) republic elections?

IVANOVIC: I expect the constitution of a new democratic republic government which will view Kosovo as a problem which must be resolved, not as something to be used to gain political points. As well, I expect the beginning of the economic development of the province and that the new republic government will support the return of Serbs to Kosovo.

BLIC: The former political leader of the KLA, Adem Demachi, recently visited Belgrade.

IVANOVIC: Demachi has retained the views for which he has spent so many years in prison. However, what he is advocating, and that is an independent Kosovo, will not come about in the future because the creation of a state in Kosovo would have negative consequences for the entire region. His visit to Belgrade is not a bad thing because Demachi is a citizen of FRY, regardless of the fact that he denies it; as long as he carries this country's passport, he should have freedom of movement throughout the country. The problem is that Serbs do not have freedom of movement in Kosovo but we must allow ourselves to act like the Albanians and to place restrictions on anyone's movement.

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serbian text - http://www.inet.co.yu/inet/d/20001102/v2.htm

I*Net, Belgrade, Yugoslavia, November 1, 2000

Talks between Momcilo Trajkovic and Bernard Kouchner

Last night in Pristina, after a pause of seven months, talks were held again between the UN civil administrator for Kosovo, Bernard Kouchner, and Momcilo Trajkovic, the president of the Serbian Resistance Movement (SPOT). According to political advisor Alexandros Yannis, during the three hour-long meeting many issues were discussed but the primary topic was how to secure the participation of the Serbs in municipal self-governments in Kosovo.

In connection with last night's meeting with Mr. Kouchner, Mr. Trajkovic, too, states that the main topic of discussion was how to get Serb representatives and in what way to form a multiethnic government after the local elections in Kosovo in which Serbs did not participate.

"We expressed the view that local Serbs cannot be an appendage of the Albanian government. We presented our conclusions, among which it is said that all solutions are to be agreed upon with the democratic government in Belgrade. Next, that together with all relevant political forces in Kosovo and Metohija we find solutions for representatives only for those municipalities in which Serbs are in the majority. For Serb areas which do not have a municipal seat, that is, which are located in municipalities in which Albanians are in the majority, we asked for the formation of new municipalities so that the Serb population can secure its own local government. We proposed, as well, that mechanisms be introduced so we are not marginalized. We repeated the request regarding security and the creation of conditions for the return of those expelled from Kosovo. We asked Mr. Kouchner to organize the holding of local elections for Serbs in the near future in both old municipalities and new municipalities which would be formed. In this manner we would arrive at legitimate representatives of the Serbs in Kosovo. Because of poor relations we recommended that Pristina have a city union which would be composed of Serb and Albanian municipalities and then, at that city level, we would find, shall I say, a common point for the creation of multiethnic institutions of government. This would also be applied in other municipalities on which Serb areas are dependent. In this way, conditions would be created for the Serbs to remain here and for Kosovo to be multiethnic. We agreed to resume talks during the course of next week. We are certain that with the help of the democratic government in Belgrade we will find the answers to the issues which we are discussing with Mr. Kouchner," says Mr. Trajkovic.

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