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Kosova Daily Report #1711, 99-03-05

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 #1711
Prishtina, 5 March 1999


CONTENTS

  • [01] President Rugova, Kosovar Delegation Meets Bob Dole in Shkup, FYROM
  • [02] President Rugova's Press Conference
  • [03] Nine Kosova Parliament's Commissions Support Rambouillet Agreement
  • [04] LDK General Council Supports Rambouillet Agreement on Kosova
  • [05] Military Confrontations Reported in Blinaj& ('Lipovica'), Central Kosova
  • [06] Drenica Village of Gjergjica Attacked by Serbian Forces Today
  • [07] Three Mitrovica Villages Shelled Last Evening

  • [01] President Rugova, Kosovar Delegation Meets Bob Dole in Shkup, FYROM

    PRISHTINA, March 5 (KIC) - The President of the Republic of Kosova Ibrahim Rugova travelled to Shkup/Skopje, FYROM, to meet today with President Clinton's special envoy for Kosova, former Republican leader and presidential candidate Robert Dole.

    Other members of the Kosova delegation to the Rambouillet peace conference, including Rexhep Qosja and Fehmi Agani, are also attending the meeting.

    Mr. Dole was to arrive in the Kosova capital Prishtina today, but he could not make the trip because Belgrade authorities refused to grant him an entry visa.

    The chief U.S. mediator, Ambassador Chris Hill, is also taking part in the discussions Senator Dole is having with the Kosova delegation.

    "It has been a frank, a very good meeting", a source from the Kosova delegation told the KIC by phone at 17:00 CET, adding that discussions would continue.

    In a press availability in the Aleksandar Palace Hotel in Shkup early afternoon today, Senator Dole said people in the United States Congress "don't understand why the [Rambouillet] agreement was not signed in France".

    Dole said he felt very strongly that the Albanian leadership should sign the agreement. "I would hope that I can convince my friends [the Kosovars] that this should be done at the earliest possible time".

    At the close of his remarks to the press in Shkup, President Clinton's special envoy - who stressed he was a private citizen now, out of politics - said it was his view "the agreement should have been signed then [in Rambouillet, in February], and it should not be delayed one additional day."

    [02] President Rugova's Press Conference

    PRISHTINA, March 5 (KIC) - The situation in Kosova is dangerous, while Serbian military and police forces continue their offensive operations, the President of the Republic of Kosova Ibrahim Rugova said at the outset of his press conference in Prishtina today (Friday).

    A new zone of conflict has been opened in southeastern Kosova, in the Ka^anik Gorge, which has created thousands of new refugees who headed towards Macedonia in search of safety, he said. "The Serbian attacks there have been aimed at closing the road to Shkup/Skopje and provoking the NATO troops which await deployment in Kosova", the President told reporters.

    Against this background, Ibrahim Rugova reiterated his call for an "urgent international intervention, and a strong response to Belgrade".

    The Kosova leader stressed that, despite difficulties on the ground, wide-ranging consultations have been going on with political forces, the Kosova institutions and the citizens on the Rambouillet interim settlement on Kosova.

    This agreement has been receiving overwhelming support by the people of Kosova, who see it as a concrete step towards attainment of security and stability for all in Kosova, a deal that opens up prospects for the future of Kosova, President Ibrahim Rugova told reporters.

    The Kosova President hailed the unfailing engagement of the United States of America on Kosova, especially President Bill Clinton's and Secretary of State Albright's commitment. He also availed himself of the opportunity to express appreciation for the engagement of the European Union (EU), singling out the role of President Jacques Chirac of France and British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook.

    Ibrahim Rugova highly valued the work, "under very hard and exacting times", of the OSCE Kosova Verification Mission (KVM).

    Asked by a questioner whether the Kosovar Albanian side could sign the Rambouillet Agreement before the resumption of negotiations in mid-March, the President said this depended on what the proceedings would be in agreement with the negotiators. The Kosova delegation has accepted the interim agreement, and this [the actual signing] will also be dependent "on other steps", Ibrahim Rugova concluded, failing to enter into specifics.

    [03] Nine Kosova Parliament's Commissions Support Rambouillet Agreement

    PRISHTINA, March 5 (KIC) - The Presidency of the Parliament of the Republic of Kosova, leaders of the parliamentarian groups as well as nine of the Parliament's commissions discussed Thursday afternoon in a joint session the Rambouillet agreement on an interim settlement for Kosova.

    Participating in the meeting - chaired by Mr. Fatmir Sejdiu, Secretary-General of the Parliament and chairman of the key Commission on Constitutional Issues - were also Idriz Ajeti, Fehmi Agani, Edita Tahiri, members of the Kosova delegation to the Rambouillet conference and MPs, and Naip Zeka, coordinator of the team of experts, also a member of Parliament, who briefed the Kosovar MPs on the proceedings of the Conference and the contents of the Interim Settlement.

    The members of the nine commissions of the Parliament of Kosova hailed the unified position of the Kosova delegation during the Rambouillet negotiations, as well as their commitment to the independence bid, the will of the people of Kosova, a statement issued from the meeting said.

    The Kosovar MPs, elected a year ago, insisted that the interim solution, for a three-year-period, is acceptable on the understanding that the people of Kosova be able to determine their future and permanent status, freedom and independence, at the close of the period, while democratic relations and a civic society had been established in the meantime.

    The implementation of the Rambouillet accords by the international community, the deployment of NATO troops, is a must, for only in that way can bloodshed end and the agreement be put to life, the Kosovar parliamentarians underlined.

    [04] LDK General Council Supports Rambouillet Agreement on Kosova

    Hails the outstanding work of Secretary of State Madeleine Albright

    PRISHTINA, March 5 (KIC) - The General Council of the Democratic League of Kosova (LDK) supported today (Friday) the Rambouillet agreement.

    In a meeting chaired by Mr. Kol& Berisha, vice-chairman of the LDK, Mr. Naip Zeka, coordinator of the Kosovar team of experts in the Rambouillet conference in France, said the conference should be viewed as a stage in the process of the international engagement on Kosova. This moment will open up the prospects for peace in Kosova, because the interim settlement paves the way for the realization of the goals of the people of Kosova, Mr. Zeka said.

    Naip Zeka singled out three essential things regarding the international conference on Kosova. Firstly, the Kosova issue is not closed off with this conference; secondly, the Agreement is guaranteed by the international factor; thirdly, its implementation will be done with the presence of NATO troops on the ground, the coordinator of Kosovar team of experts said.

    Members of the LDK General Council, Mustaf& Blakaj, Ali Laj^i, Fatmir Rexhepi, Shaban Manaj, Faruk Spahiu, Rexhep Osmani, and Melihate T&rmkolli spoke in support of the Kosovar delegation signing the Rambouillet Accords.

    The LDK party executive adopted a political declaration in support of the Accords.

    The General Council "strongly supports the negotiating process on Kosova, and the unified Kosovar delegation's stand" making the case for Kosova independence, the will of the people expressed in [the 1991] referendum.

    The General Council understands that the interim settlement is aimed at ending the bloodshed in Kosova, securing the functioning of institutions and life in the three-year interim period, while leaving the road open for the people of Kosova to determine their future at the end.

    The General Council of the LDK said "the Kosova Agreement can be accepted only in its entirety, with international political and military guarantees for its implementation, which should be carriedo ut by NATO".

    The LDK party executive supported "the immediate signing [by the Kosovar delegation) of the agreement".

    The LDK supports the President of the Republic of Kosova Ibrahim Rugova in his efforts towards a political solution to the Kosova issue, but also the engagement of the international community, first and foremost of the United States of America. In this context, the LDK executive hailed the outstanding work of Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

    The General Council of the LDK "calls on all the state, political and military structures to achieve as high a level of coordination as possible, in the interest of the people of Kosova, while preserving the unity achieved in the Rambouillet Conference", the political declaration of the LDK adopted today said.

    [05] Military Confrontations Reported in Blinaj& ('Lipovica'), Central Kosova

    Between four and eleven Serbian paramilitary policemen reported wounded

    PRISHTINA, March 5 (KIC) - At around 9:30 in the morning today (Friday), the Serbian military engaged the U^K units in Blinaj& ('Lipovica'), municipality of Lipjan, the U^K's Kosova press newsagency reported.

    The Serbian army launched its attack from their base in the Blinaj& mountainous resort.

    Six Serb armoured vehicles, several APCs, and other combat equipment was employed in the attack, which was responded to by the U^K. Four Serb soldiers were shot and wounded, according to Kosova press.

    Meanwhile, other sources put the number of Serbian paramilitary policemen wounded today at 11, half a dozen of them seriously.

    Local LDK sources said three wounded Serb policemen had been seen being transported from Magura in the direction of Prishtina.

    Heavy Serbian paramilitary police forces had been moving earlier in the morning today towards the Drenica villages.

    At 9:45 CET today, heavy Serbian military forces, including 19 tanks, left from their base at Krivov& towards Komaran, west of Prishtina, on the Prishtina-Peja highway. Serbian police forces also joined the army convoy, local LDK sources said.

    [06] Drenica Village of Gjergjica Attacked by Serbian Forces Today

    PRISHTINA, March 5 (KIC) - The U^K (Kosova Liberation Army) and Serbian forces resumed clashes today 10:30 CET, when Serbs attacked the Grei^eci family compound of Gjergjica village, the U^K's Kosova press news agency reported.

    At least 13 Serbian tanks arrived in the village from Prishtina, passing through the Llapushniku gorge, Kosovapress said, adding that the village was being shelled while the Serb infantry was trying to advance into the village of Gjergjica.

    U^K and Serbian forces clashed in Gjergjica yesterday, too.

    The Albanian population has been displaced, seeking refuge up in the mountains, Kosova press concluded.

    [07] Three Mitrovica Villages Shelled Last Evening

    PRISHTINA, March 5 (KIC) - For three and a half hours on Thursday evening, Serbian forces launched artillery and machine-gun fire against U^K positions in the villages of Vaganic&, Verrnic& and Pir^, local LDK sources said.

    Automatic weapons fire was reported on Thursday evening in three neighborhoods of the town of Mitrovica, less than 40 km northwest of capital Prishtina.

    Serbian soldiers broke into and vandalized the house of Fetah Mehmeti (70) in the Bair neighborhood early in the evening on Thursday.

    Many Albanian citizens who happened to be inside the post office in the town were arrested by police on Thursday, local LDK sources said, naming one of them as Muharrem Riza Smakolli (65), a pensioner from Rashan village of Mitrovica. Two Albanian refugees were arrested in the house of Xhyl& Imeri (75) in Ibri neighborhood. Ram& Deli Rugova (44) was arrested in his home and released later.

    Police arrested today (Friday) Esat Rifat Xhafa (20) near the market-place in Mitrovica. Police beat up and arrested an unspecified number of Albanians today, according to local LDK sources.

    Kosova Information Center

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