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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, July 18, 2000

  • Meeting of the executive board of the SNC in Gracanica
  • Meeting of the executive board of the SNC of Central Kosovo
  • Bishop Artemije receives Ambassador James Frolick
  • Delegation of SNC at meeting of North Atlantic Council
  • Preparations for conference in Airly House, USA

    Today in the monastery of Gracanica a meeting was held of the executive board of the Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija. The meeting was chaired by the president of the executive board, Dusan Ristic, in the presence of Bishop Artemije, the president of the SNC. In the presence of 28 members of the executive board from all parts of Kosovo and Metohija, the current situation was discussed and the urgent necessity for the formation of local offices in all parts of the Province. Separately discussed was the need to have Serb representatives join in the work of all departments of the administration and for the voice of Serbs to be heard in all forums where decisions are made regarding issues vital to the Serb community. The president of the executive board of the SNC of Central Kosovo, Dragan Velic, informed the executive board of the SNC regarding the work of the office in Gracanica which is already active and has several task groups which, in cooperation with UNMIK, are regulating issues of vital significance to the Serb people of the Gracanica region.


    After the above meeting, Dragan Velic held a meeting of the regional executive board of the SNC for Central Kosovo. After the departure of Slavisa Kostic, the former president of the executive board of the SNC for Central Kosovo, and several other members, the SNC of Central Kosovo was consolidated and continued its work in accordance with the directives of the SNC as a whole. The Council of Central Kosovo is very engaged in the formation of local offices in the region of the central Kosovo district and during only the past month, the members of the SNC of Central Kosovo have formed several offices which are working of the implementation of the Agenda for Coexistence. Discussed at this meeting were measures which should be undertaken to consolidate the political and economic life of the Serbs of this region. Large obstacles continue to be created by the representatives of the regime as well as by the group surrounding Momcilo Trajkovic and Slavisa Kostic which through the media is creating an impression of a schism within the SNC. The SNC of Kosovo and Metohija took the position at these meetings that the provocations of individuals in the media should not be answered; instead, the reputation of the Council should be defended primarily through its work, activities in the field and the consolidation of Councils through the formation of local offices. Those who base their entire program on personal mud-slinging and accusations will quickly find themselves outside all processes of every day life and decision making, and will not be able to realize any degree of influence on the life of the Serb community.


    Today Bishop Artemije received the representative of the American administration James Frolick in the monastery of Gracanica and discussed with him the problems of the Serb community in Kosovo and Metohija. Special emphasis was placed on the belief that concrete steps would be taken at the conference in Airly House, where Serb and Albanian delegations are due to travel in the near future, to establish trust between the two most numerous national communities in the Province. Bishop Artemije stressed to Ambassador Frolick that it is very important to begin with the implementation of the achieved Agreement on Understanding at this time. The ambassador was informed that a meeting was held yesterday in Gracanica of members of the SNC and UNMIK experts on security and refugee returns and that it was agreed to undertake more concrete measures in implementation of measures foreseen by the Agreement on Understanding.


    This afternoon the delegation of the SNC is participating in the working meeting and reception organized on the occasion of the arrival of the members of the North Atlantic Council headed by Lord George Robertson. Participating in the working meeting at UNMIK headquarters in Pristina will be Bishop Artemije, Dr. Rada Trajkovic and Protosingel Sava Janjic; following the meeting with the esteemed guest representatives of NATO, they will be joined by the other Serb members of the Kosovo Transitional Council.

    The Serb delegation will use this opportunity as well to emphasize the need for the NATO-led peacekeeping forces to exert more concrete efforts to prevent violence directed primarily against Serbs and other non-Albanians. While our churches are being destroyed every day and members of the clergy attacked, people kidnapped and while the most brutal form of discrimination rules against our population which has been driven into enclaves, it is impossible to expect the participation of the Serb community in political processes in the Province.


    Preparations are being finalized during this time for the conference in Airly House near Washington where the Albanian and Serb delegations will hold talks from July 20 to July 27 on ways to overcome problems in Kosovo and Metohija, the establishment of mutual trust and the building of common democratic institutions.

    In response to the ungrounded accusations coming from Mr. Momcilo Trajkovic who claims that this will be a mini-Dayton, the SNC can state that the agenda does not include the issue of the status of Kosovo. The position of the SNC remains that the status issue cannot be resolved between the Serbs and the Albanians only but must involve, first of all, responsible representatives of FRY and the Republic of Serbia as well as the highest international representatives. The purpose of this conference is to enable the establishment of a basic level of dialog between Albanian and Serb representatives and, at the same time, to enable through personal contact the exchange of ideas and constructive proposals which may enable a more intensive political process in the Province, the establishment of tolerance and the creation of necessary preconditions for the development of a modern and democratic society in accordance with the mandate of Resolution 1244.

    Following are the lists of participants in the conference. More detailed information will be presented in our daily information bulletins.


    Bishop Artemije Radosavljevic (president of the SNC of Kosovo and Metohija)
    Protosingel Sava Janjic (representative of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the Kosovo Transitional Council)
    Randjel Nojkic (member of the Kosovo Transitional Council and co-director of the department of labor)
    Dr. Rada Trajkovic (representative of the SNC in the Interim Administrative Council of Kosovo)
    Dragan Velic (president of the executive board of the SNC of Central Kosovo and member of the KTC)
    Dusan Ristic (president of the executive board of the SNC of Kosovo and Metohija
    Slavisa Ristic (SNC of Zubin Potok)
    Kirilo Djurkovic (SNC of Gnjilane)
    Petar Ulemek (SNC of Pec)
    Slavisa Kolasinac (SNC of Orahovac)
    Dragan Nikolic (SNC of Gnjilane, co-director of the department of agriculture)
    Sonja Nikolic (Radio Kontakt, Pristina)
    Nenad Radosavljevic (SNC of Leposavic)
    Petar Jeknic (Chief of Radio Kosovo and Metohija media project in Caglavica)

    (Momcilo Trajkovic declined to participate in the conference even though invited.)


    Ibrahim Rugova
    Skender Hyseni
    Hashim THaci
    Xhavit Ferizi
    Rexhep Qosja
    Basri Musmurati
    Naim Maloku
    Bajram Rexhepi
    Ethem Ceku
    Januz Januzaj
    Ismajl Kurteshi
    Eqrem Kryeziu
    Edita Tahiri
    Naim Jerlia
    Mahmut Bakalli
    Mark Krasniqi
    Arben Hoxha
    Pajazit Nushi
    Luljeta Pula-Beqiri
    Kaqusha Jashari
    Esat Marovca
    Ylber Hysa
    Margarita Kadriu
    Vjosa Dobruna
    Aferdita Kelmendi
    Ariana Zherka
    Nekibe Kelmendi
    Baton Haxhiu

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