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Kosova Daily Report #1394, 98-04-07

Kosovo Information Center: Kosova Daily Report Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Kosova Information Center <http://www.kosova.com/>

Kosova Information Center

KOSOVA DAILY REPORT #1394

Prishtina, 7 April 1998


CONTENTS

  • [01] President Rugova Receives U.S. Diplomats
  • [02] President Rugova Receives UN Envoy for Human Rights
  • [03] Third Party Mediation Is Necessary in Talks with Belgrade, Rugova's Aide Says
  • [04] Two Albanians Wounded, Many Houses Damaged During Serb Shelling in Drenica Monday

  • [01] President Rugova Receives U.S. Diplomats

    PRISHTINA, April 7 (KIC) - The President of the Republic of Kosova Dr. Ibrahim Rugova received today in Prishtina Mrs. Elizabeth Wilson and Mr. Michael Haltzel, Senior Staff Members of the U.S. Senate Foreign Affairs Commitee. Attending the meeting were aslo Mr. Nicholas Hill, First Secretary, Mr. John Sipher, Second Secretary at the United States Embassy in Belgrade, and Ms. Tina Kaidanow.

    In an lengthly and friendly meeting, the current situation and the prospects for a negotiated and peaceful settlement to the Kosova issue were discussed.

    The President hailed the United States role and the genuine commitment of the U.S. Senate over Kosova.

    The situation in Kosova is extremely grave in the wake of actions by Serbian forces against the local Albanian population in some parts of Kosova, President Ibrahim Rugova said. He pressed for increased international pressure to make Belgrade withdraw its special police and paramilitary units from Drenica.

    The people of Kosova are committed to their peaceful struggle for freedom and independence of their country, the President said, adding that independence of Kosova would stabilize the entire region. Negotiations between Prishtina and Belgrade, under the mediation of the United States, in cooperation with its Euroepan allies, are critical in pursuit of a just and peaceful resolution to the Kosova issue, Dr. Rugova emphasized.

    The U.S. diplomats reconfirmed the American commitment and engagement for a speedy progress towards the resolution of the Kosova crisis.

    The President of the Republic of Kosova Dr.Ibrahim Rugova thanked the United States for the continued commitment and engagement in Kosova. He stressed out the special importance amicable ties between USA and Kosova have.

    [02] President Rugova Receives UN Envoy for Human Rights

    The President of the Republic of Kosova Dr. Ibrahim Rugova received today (Tuesday) Mr. Jiri Dienstbir, the UN Human Rights envoy.

    Attending the meeting were also Roman T. Vieruszvski, Henrik Stenman and Sylvian Roy.

    The UN envoy and his delegation are in Kosova in a fact-finding mission.

    President Ibrahim Rugova said the situation in Kosova is extremely dangerous in the wake of the stepped-up Serbian campaign of terror and violence against the Albanian people. Local Albanian residents of the Drenica region, including women and children, were slain by Serb forces during their police and (para)military operations last month, the President recalled.

    Several villages are still sealed off by Serb forces in Drenica, and Belgrade is not complying with the demands of the Contact Group for withdrawal of special units and the beginning of an unconditioned dialogue on Kosova, Dr. Ibrahim Rugova stressed.

    The people of Kosova have been steadfast in their peaceful struggle for an independent Kosova, based on the will of the people expressed in a national referendum. "Such an arrangement would safeguard the rights of local Serbs, and stabilize the entire region".

    Jiri Dienstbir, the UN Human Rights envoy, said all efforts should be made to secure a peaceful settlement to the Kosova issue.

    President Rugova thanked the UN Human Rights envoy for coming to see the situation in Kosova.

    [03] Third Party Mediation Is Necessary in Talks with Belgrade, Rugova's Aide Says

    PRISHTINA, April 7 (KIC) - Xhemail Mustafa, press advisor of President Ibrahim Rugova of Kosova, criticized attempts of "certain diplomatic circles" to circumvent third party mediation in a talks process between Prishtina and Belgrade on the status of Kosova.

    Rugova's aide told the Rilindja daily this was being done "in the name of preliminary talks", or "talks about talks".

    This tendency is unacceptable, Mr. Mustafa said. "There should be authoritative third party mediation in preliminary talks, too", he stressed, noting that once "eliminated", it will be hard to secure third party involvement in later phases.

    President Rugova's press advisor said mediation of organizations, or NGO's, is no solution either. They would lack due authority to establish, conduct, and guarantee the outcome of such negotiations on "such a big and serious issue, such as Kosova", Xhemail Mustafa concluded.

    Meanwhile, the Kosova President appointed Monday a four-member negotiating team for the talks process with Belgrade.

    Members of the team are Fehmi Agani, former vice-chairman of the Democratic League of Kosova (LDK), Mahmut Bakalli and Pajazit Nushi, former Communist leaders, and Veton Surroi, editor-in-chief of Koha daily.

    [04] Two Albanians Wounded, Many Houses Damaged During Serb Shelling in Drenica Monday

    PRISHTINA, April 7 (KIC) - Two Albanians, residents of Kopiliq village of Skenderaj (in Serbian 'Srbica'), were wounded and many houses damaged during a several hour-long shelling of the village by Serb forces Monday.

    The Prishtina-based Bujku newspaper said Rexhep Hasani and a 16- year-old girl Zelihe Shala sustained wounds during the Serb shelling of Kopiliq village.

    Quoting local sources in the area, Bujku said the Kopiliq village was targeted by Serb forces on several occasions during the whole course of yesterday. An LDK activist from the neighboring village of Turi^ec told the newspaper that Kopiliq was shelled from two positions on the hills of the village on which Serb forces have been garrisoned days ago. Heavy armament, including grenade launchers and cannons, was used in the attack on Kopiliq village which was carried out sporadically from 9 a.m to 6 in the afternoon, the LDK activist Pajazit Jusufi said.

    Households of Abdyl Shala, Sali Shala and Osman Shala were damaged badly. The houses of Salih Shala, Qerim Dani, Rizah Bajrami, Islam Dibrani, Rexhep Hasani and Hadush Dibrani were damaged, too, the LDK activist said.

    Kosova Information Center


    Kosovo Information Center: Kosova Daily Report Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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