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Daily press briefing of the Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija
Gracanica, September 2, 2000
Jock Covey and Brigadier Fry again in Gracanica
Bishop Artemije talks with Bernd Wulffen, head of German office in Pristina
Bishop Artemije receives Greek ambassador Jorgos Vasilopoulos
JOCK COVEY AND BRIGADIER FRY AGAIN IN GRACANICA
Today in Gracanica Monastery last week's meeting of SNC representatives
with the deputy chief of UNMIK, Jock Covey, the commander of Brigade Center,
Brigadier General Robert Fry, and police commissioner Stephen Feller continued.
the main topic of discussion remained the issue of security especially
in the light of the newest Albanian terrorist attacks. The SNC is actively
insisting on the undertaking of more effective security measures in the
Serb enclaves in order to prevent the activities of Albanian terrorists.
Three days ago, Bishop Artemije sent a letter to Bernard Kouchner and General
Ortuno with concrete proposals by the SNC for the improvement of the security
Bishop Artemije talked about the needs of the Serb population, emphasizing
that it is up to KFOR and the UN police to find the best ways of meeting
those needs. Special consideration was given to the possibility of temporarily
limiting the access of Albanian travellers to local and regional roadways
which pass through Serb enclaves. SNC representatives insisted that Albanian
vehicles be allowed to pass through Serb areas only during the day and
only with a military escort in order to prevent possible terrorist attacks
and that all traffic be closed off during the night. The SNC continues
to insist that Albanian traffic via local, rural roadways be redirected
to alternative routes wherever possible especially in regions where there
have been frequent attacks in the past. A high degree of mutual understanding
was achieved during the course of the talks and representatives of KFOR
and the UN mission offered firm assurances to Bishop Artemije that they
would intensify patrols, increase the number of check-points and use the
technical means at their disposal for surveillance of the field, especially
during this pre-election period.
At the conclusion of the meeting it was agreed to organize joint visits
to the Serb villages around Pristina during the next several days where
SNC representatives, together with the local population, could point out
the most sensitive locations in which it is necessary to increase KFOR
presence. Similar visits will soon be organized to other parts of the Province.
BISHOP ARTEMIJE TALKS WITH BERND WULFFEN, HEAD OF GERMAN OFFICE IN PRISTINA
In the afternoon hours Bishop Artemije received Bernd Wulffen, the head
of the German office in Pristina and the special representative of the
Germany ministry of foreign affairs in Kosovo. Bishop Artemije spoke of
the need for an improvement in the situation in which Serbs are living
in the sector under German control, especially in Orahovac, Velika Hoca
and the region of Musnikovo. The Serbs there living there require better
protection as well as the possibility of economic development and recovery
of production capacities in order to keep the remaining Serb population
in Kosovo, emphasized the president of the SNC.
Mr. Wulffen stated that the German government is advocating dialog between
the ethnic groups and a multiethnic society. He emphasized that the German
government strongly opposes violence in Kosovo. Perpetrators of the newest
attacks, especially attacks against the Serb children, must be arrested
and brought to justice. Wulffen repeated the invitation of Minister Fischer
to Bishop Artemije to visit Berlin and advised Dr. Rada Trajkovic that
the German government approved additional funds for the purchase of new
equipment for Simonida Hospital in Gracanica.
BISHOP ARTEMIJE RECEIVES GREEK AMBASSADOR VASILOPOULOS
Bishop Artemije also received the Greek ambassador to Belgrade, Jorgos
Vasilopoulos, whom he acquainted with the situation in which the Serb community
is living in Kosovo and Metohija. During the course of cordial and friendly
conversation, Bishop Artemije expressed his deepest thanks to the Greek
ambassador who in recent years has shown himself to be a great friend of
the Serb people and the Serbian Orthodox Church and he wished him much
success in his new function.
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