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Kosova Daily Report #1425, 98-05-10

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 #1425

Prishtina, 10 May 1998


CONTENTS

  • [01] President Rugova Discusses Kosova with Ambassadors Gelbard and Holbrooke
  • [02] Eight Victims of Serbian Terror in Two Days, Four to Be Buried Today
  • [03] Albanian Teenager Killed During Serb Forces Attack on His Village
  • [04] Thousands March Peacefully for the 30th Straight Day in Kosova Streets
  • [05] President Rugova Receives Ambassadors Holbrooke and Gelbard

  • [01] President Rugova Discusses Kosova with Ambassadors Gelbard and Holbrooke

    PRISHTINA, May 10 (KIC) - Robert S. Gelbrad, Special Representative of the President and Secretary of State for the Implementation of the Dayton Accords, and Richard Holbrooke, the troubleshooter in reaching the Dayton Accords for Bosnia two and a half years ago, chaired a U.S. delegation which arrived in Prishtina today for discussions with President of the Republic of Kosova Dr. Ibrahim Rugova and his Advisory Group, the so-called G-15.

    Ambassador Holbrooke said after the discussions with Rugova and his G-15 that they had a very useful dialogue.

    "We were here in this meeting to listen and to learn and also the show that the United States cares deeply about the rights, the human rights of the people of this region", Holbrooke told reporters early afternoon.

    "Violence is spreading like wild fire.", he said. "We are concerned that is the case and we are here in the region at the request of to Secretary of State and the President to see if we can do anything to assist." Holbrooke said Asked by the CNN about "other mechanisms" that the U.S. has to break the deadlock, Ambassador Holbrooke said "we really believe that confidential negotiations have to remain confidential" if the there is any chance of success.

    "But I will not describe the efforts we are now engaged in as formal negotiation. It is nonetheless a discussion. The issues are very complicated. We are not presenting an American plan. We are here to listen and to learn, and what we did today has been very useful.", Ambassador Richard Holbrooke stressed.

    He told reporters in Prishtina the U.S. delegation plans to have lunch tomorrow with President Milosevic. "He has made clear that he does not want any international mediator in the Kosovo problem. At the same time, he has been willing to talk to us, partly because of the Dayton process... We'll just continue to have these discussions", Ambassador Holbrooke said, before proceeding for further talks with President Ibrahim Rugova.

    Ambassador Gelbard recalled that he was recently in the region with Deputy Secretary Talbott. "The Contact Group has been, I think, taking some very important action, in the last couple of weeks especially. We feel, as Ambassador Holbrooke said, that there is a very disturbing situation that has developed, as we have been pointing out, and I have been pointing out in the recent months. I asked Ambassador Holbrooke to accompany me because he and I had made a very good team before."

    Asked by a reporter about how he characterized the positions of the Kosovar Albanian and 'Yugoslav' sides, Ambassador Holbrooke said: "We think a lot more work needs to be done on both sides to get them to talk on the same lines to each other, and there is a real urgency to that."

    President Rugova of Kosova and his associates have been having further discussions with the U.S. delegation.

    [02] Eight Victims of Serbian Terror in Two Days, Four to Be Buried Today

    PRISHTINA, May 10 (KIC) - Four Albanians killed by Serb forces will be buried today (Sunday).

    Besim Halilaj, who was killed Saturday afternoon during a Serb attack on the village of Arllat, will be buried today at his native T&rdofc village of Gllogovc, the LDK Information Commission in Gllogovc said. At least three other people were wounded at Arllat village yesterday afternoon, local sources said.

    At Gllabar village Sefer Elshani will be buried today. He was killed by Serb forces who opened fire from an armored vehicle near Komoran.

    At Balinc& village of Malisheva the funeral of a teenage boy Rexhep Kelmendi (16) will take place today. He was killed near his house by Serb forces two days ago.

    At Ponoshec village of Gjakova, in southwestern Kosova, the 88- year-old Albanian Ram& Neziri, killed during a Serb armed action against his native village, was to be buried today. (Meanwhile, local sources quoted his family members as saying he was buried by the police itself, the family not knowing where!) Four Albanians, likewise killed by Serb forces, were buried yesterday (Saturday): Nazif Kelmendi and Mahmut Kelmendi at Balinc& village, Haki Din& Kameraj at L&bush& of De^an, whereas Agim Hasanaj at Gllarev& village of Gllogovc.

    At least four Albanians were wounded in the past couple of days, among whom Hanife Kelmendi, the mother of the 16-year-old Rexhep Ismet Kelmendi, killed by Serb sniper fire.

    [03] Albanian Teenager Killed During Serb Forces Attack on His Village

    PRISHTINA, May 10 (KIC) - The dead body of a 16-year-old Albanian, Rexhep Kelmendi, was found Saturday afternoon near a brook at his village of residence, Balinca, in the municipality of Malisheva in central Kosova.

    The body of the young Albanian had been peppered with automatic riffle bullets, sources in Malisheva said.

    Balinca village came under heavy Serb forces' fire Friday afternoon.

    Two local Albanians Mahmut Kelmendi (60) and Nazif Kelmendi (60) were killed during the Serb forces attack on the village on Friday, whereas Hanife Kelmendi, mother of seven, was wounded seriously.

    [04] Thousands March Peacefully for the 30th Straight Day in Kosova Streets

    PRISHTINA, May 10 (KIC) - Thousands of people took to the Prishtina main square for the 30th straight day today (Sunday), to protest calmly and peacefully the Serb regime rule in the country and call for international recognition of the Republic of Kosova.

    Sources in other Kosova towns said similar events took place in the streets there as well. In most of the towns peaceful marches were held under the watchful eye of the Serb police.

    The half-hour daily marches have been organized by the Republic's Protest Organizing Committee, made up of political parties, and youth and students organizations in Kosova.

    Huge protest manifestations were staged Saturday in all the municipal canters and towns of Kosova, including Prishtina, where at least 100.000 people marched along the Mother Teresa square from 12:00 to 12:30.

    Saturday's manifestation was being held at the time the world eight major powers and the Contact Group on the Former Yugoslavia were meeting in London. Protesters read out in choir a massage urging the international community to act urgently so as to prevent another war from escalating in the region.

    [05] President Rugova Receives Ambassadors Holbrooke and Gelbard

    PRISHTINA, May 10 (KIC) - The President of the Republic of Kosova, Dr. Ibrahim Rugova, received today in Prishtina Ambassadors Richard Holbrooke and Robert Gelbard, special envoys of the President Clinton and Secretary of State Albright, to discuss the situation in Kosova and prospects for a negotiated settlement to the crisis.

    Participating in the long and friendly discussions were also U.S. Ambassador to Shkup/Skopje, Christopher Hill, the Chief of U.S. Mission to Belgrade, Richard Miles, and their aides.

    The senior U.S. officials conveyed the deep concerns of the Administration over the prevailing conditions in Kosova, expressing the strong commitment of the U.S. government to a peaceful resolution to the Kosova question.

    Regarding the situation, President Ibrahim Rugova said it was extremely volatile and dangerous amidst continued Serbian police and military actions against the Albanian civilian population in different parts of the country. He urged for an increased international pressure on Belgrade to withdraw its special units from Kosova, bring the Serb actions to an end, and pave the way for a negotiated settlement.

    President Rugova reaffirmed the commitment of the people of Kosova to pursue their independence bid through peaceful and political means. An unconditional dialogue between Prishtina and Belgrade under a third international party mediation is critical in reaching of peaceful and lasting solution to the Kosova issue, he stressed, adding that Prishtina has been ready to engage in such a process.

    Expressing his appreciation for the U.S. resolve to support a negotiated settlement in Kosova, President Ibrahim Rugova urged the U.S. to assume a leading role in the resolution of the Kosova crisis.

    Kosova Information Center


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