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Kosova Daily Report #1333, 98-01-30

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

From: Kosova Information Center <kic_pr@zana-pr.ztn.apc.org>

Kosova Information Center

KOSOVA DAILY REPORT #1333

Prishtina, 30 January 1998


CONTENTS

  • [01] Serbia Should Recognize Kosova's Independence, to 'Become Lifelong Friends', President Rugova Says
  • [02] President Rugova Receives U.S. Diplomat Thursday
  • [03] European Council Condemns in a Resolution Serb Regime Repression in Kosova
  • [04] U.S. and Europe Will Try to Promote a Peaceful Solution for Kosova, Senior American Diplomat Says
  • [05] Serb Police Detains "Gazeta Shqiptare" Colporteur

  • [01] Serbia Should Recognize Kosova's Independence, to 'Become Lifelong Friends', President Rugova Says

    PRISHTINA, Jan 30 (KIC) - The President of the Republic of Kosova Dr. Ibrahim Rugova thanked today the United States of America for its continued concern over the situation and the engagement towards Kosova. In this regard, he appreciated the role of Ambassador Robert Gelbard, the U.S. President and Secretary of State's special representative for this part of the world.

    In his introductory remarks during a press conference in Prishtina, Dr. Rugova hailed the introduction of a concurrent resolution on Kosova in the U.S. House of Representative by Rep. Eliot Engel, a friend of Kosova. (The draft resolution calls for preventative measures in Kosova, the recognition of the right to self- determination, as well as support for the coming national elections in Kosova, scheduled for March 22).

    President Rugova hailed also Nato's concern over Kosova, and reported remarks by British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook about Kosova being top on the British and European Union agenda.

    He welcomed, "as a first step", the adoption of a resolution on Kosova this week by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and hailed the position of Lord Russel Johnston, who maintained that insistence on the preservation of 'territorial integrity' of FRY prejudges the dialogue on Kosova.

    The President welcomed also the position of Ms Doris Pack, Head of the South-East Europe delegation to the European Parliament, for an early start of dialogue between Prishtina and Belgrade, as well as the call for a special European envoy for Kosova.

    Touching on the current developments in Kosova, Dr. Ibrahim Rugova said the crackdown at Prekaz of Skenderaj earlier this month was followed by a new wave of Serbian police violence, which has been extended to other parts of Kosova. In the past week a large-scale police repressive operation occurred in the municipality of Malisheva, whereas scores of Albanians were ill- treated, as well as at Isnqiq (De^an). A seventeen-year-old Albanian, Avdi Qarri (Neziri) was fatally wounded by a Serb policeman, the President recalled.

    Dr. Rugova said this past week saw Serb military and police movements in many municipalities of Kosova, and the systematic repression of Albanians on arms searches pretexts continue; Serb civilians beat up Albanian high school students in Fush& Kosova (in Serbian Kosovo Polje).

    President Rugova called on local Serbs in Kosova not to provoke their Albanian neighbours. He pressed that the Belgrade regime, which is keeping Kosova by force, bring an end to its repressive campaigns, "because they pose dangers not only for Kosova, but the entire region". In this context, he appealed that the Albanians do not fall prey to Serb provocations, "because the Serb regime is keen on staging bigger confrontations so as to ethnically cleanse Kosova".

    "It would be good for Serbia to recognize an independent Kosova, and thus (we) become and remain lifelong friends", President Rugova said.

    The international community should step up pressures on Belgrade, so that it understands that it should engage in an internationally mediated dialogue on Kosova, he added. It is Belgrade that is blocking the establishment of a dialogue, it is Belgrade that does not want to engage in talks about Kosova, the President emphasized.

    Dr. Ibrahim Rugova pressed for preventative steps by the international community and its increased presence in Kosova, and reiterated that the best solution for Kosova is an independent and neutral country, based on the national referendum's results, with all guarantees for the local Serb community.

    Asked by reporters to comment on calls for the Kosova leadership to distance itself from acts of violence and terrorism, President Rugova said this leadership has been doing this all along. "The entire movement in Kosova, our civic society and the multiparty political organization that we have established, are proof of our determination to seek a peaceful settlement to the Kosova issue".

    "We first and foremost condemn the Serbian regime violence in Kosova, but also all other acts of violence which may be carried out by frustrated people", President Rugova said, adding that this situation is conducive to such things, for Kosova has been going through a grave and violent situation for seven years now.

    Apparently alluding to armed groups referred to as the U^K, Dr. Rugova reiterated that "we have no information who those groups are, what kind of a game is being enacted with them, or who does indeed stand behind them".

    In reply to a question regarding a statement FYROM President Kiro Gligorov made about the opening of a corridor through Macedonia for Albanians from Kosova to go to Albania in case of a conflict breakout in Kosova, President Rugova said Mr. Gligorov and Macedonia "should not engage in such speculations". This republic should also contribute so that a conflict does not happen in Kosova, he concluded.

    [02] President Rugova Receives U.S. Diplomat Thursday

    PRISHTINA, Jan 30 (KIC) - The President of the Republic of Kosova Dr. Ibrahim Rugova Thursday afternoon in Prishtina Mr. Robert Norman, Political and Economic Counsellor at the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade.

    Issues of common interest for Kosova and the United States of America were discussed in the meeting.

    Regarding the current situation in the country, the President said the continued campaign of violence and repression of Serb forces against Albanians has been further stepped up. This increases the danger of further escalations, which we have been trying to avert by political organization and self-restraint, Dr. Ibrahim Rugova said. He underscored that the people of Kosova is committed to implement its will for independence by peaceful means and dialogue.

    The Kosova President reaffirmed the need for the Kosova issue to be resolved peacefully, in a talks process effectively intermediated by the United States of America and assisted by the European Union.

    Mr. Robert Norman, the U.S. diplomat, voiced the concern of his government over the recent developments in Kosova, while expressing support for peaceful policies and dialogue as the route down which the Kosova issue should be resolved.

    Resident Ibrahim Rugova expressed appreciation for the continued U.S. support for Kosova and the significance of friendly relations between Kosova and the United States of America.

    [03] European Council Condemns in a Resolution Serb Regime Repression in Kosova

    PRISHTINA, Jan 30 (KIC) - The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe passed a resolution on Wednesday which condemns the Serbian regime repression of Albanian people Kosova, and calls for an increased international presence in the country in order to prevent the escalation of the situation.

    Noting with concern that the Serbian regime repression against the people of Kosova has been continuing with impunity, the resolution said that Belgrade's policies have "led to armed resistance" in the region.

    Sources in Strasbourg said that the resolution on Kosova was adopted with the majority of votes in favor. A delegation Serb- Montenegrin federation, as well as Greek and Russian representatives voted against the adoption of the resolution.

    The "FRY" delegation's remarks were based on the alleged grounds that Kosova is an internal affair of Serbia, but the Assembly ruled the resolution underling that human rights violations cannot be considered solely one country's internal affair.

    The resolution called on the Albanian people in Kosova to refrain themselves from violence and urged on the political leaders of Kosova to denounce violent approaches as a means for seeking solution to the Kosova issue.

    [04] U.S. and Europe Will Try to Promote a Peaceful Solution for Kosova, Senior American Diplomat Says

    PRISHTINA, Jan 30 (KIC) - Kosova is of vital importance to the stability in the region, Mr. Stephen Flanagan, special assistant to President Clinton and senior director for the Central and East European Affairs at the National Security told journalist in Skopje/Shkupi on Wednesday. The USIS in Prishtina has carried in its wireless file bulletin today the transcript from the press conference of Mr. Stephen Flanagan.

    Asked by a reporter how did he see the situation in Kosova, Mr. Stephen Flanagan said: "We continue to watch the situation in Kosovo with a great deal of concern. We have continued to urge the authorities in Belgrade to pursue a political dialogue, to move on an implantation of the education accords. And Mr. Gelbard and Mr. Ischinger, representing the Contact Group countries, have recently conveyed messages on this to Mr. Milosevic. We obviously maintain an active political dialogue as well as with the LDK and other political force in Kosovo, and we continue to urge all sides to renounce violence, and to find ways to reach peaceful solution of some enduring disputes. We do believe that there will be some need for - and we hope that the government in Belgrade will accept - further international efforts to bring the parties to some kind of reconciliation. Our policy has been clear on Kosovo. We do not support independence, we support the restoration of autonomy and basic rights, the fundamental rights. But, as I say, we will continue to work actively in cooperation with our European friends and other partners to try to promote a peaceful solution. We understand how vitally important this is to the stability and security in Macedonia".

    [05] Serb Police Detains "Gazeta Shqiptare" Colporteur

    PRISHTINA, Jan 30 (KIC) - Fazli Beqiri, an authorized colporteur of the Prishtina-based bi-weekly "Gazeta shqiptare" was detained by the Serbian police in Shtime on Tuesday.

    Fazli Beqiri was held for a couple of hours in the Serb police station in Shtime, and was subjected to several-hour harassment.

    The police seized all the copies of the magazine due for retail in Ferizaj, Shtime and Vitia, the Prishtina-based Bujku newspaper said today.

    Bujku said that another colporteur of "Gazeta shqiptare" was beaten up brutally by the Serb police in Mitrovica last month.

    Kosova Information Center


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