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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-11-16

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Kosovo's Ceku meets with Greek leadership

  • [01] Kosovo's Ceku meets with Greek leadership

    Kosovo leader Agim √eku brought his campaign for the full independence of the previously strife-plagued and currently UN-administered province to Athens on Wednesday, addressing a Greek audience only hours after meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis.

    √eku -- the former head of the Albanian majority's Kosovo protection corps who was chosen by Kosovo's assembly last March as the province's prime minister in the administration known as the &quot;Provisional Institutions of Self-Government&quot; -- more-or-less summed up his message with the phrase &quot;independence for Kosovo, Serbs in Kosovo.&quot;

    The matter of protecting and guaranteeing the rights of the province's remaining minorities (Serbs, Roma, Gorani, Turks etc.) amid a predominately Albanian population, in fact, repeatedly came up in √eku's statements. The controversial former Yugoslav and Croatian military officer also continued to cultivate his credentials as a moderate amongst the Kosovo Albanian political landscape by promising that his administration will not take any &quot;unilateral&quot; steps towards independence. He also brushed off concerns of a &quot;domino effect&quot; in the region caused by Kosovo's independence vis-a-vis other neighboring Albanian enclaves (in FYROM, PreŇ°evo and Montenegro), saying he believes independence will &quot;solve regional problems, not create others.&quot;

    Conversely, √eku said partition of the landlocked province -- i.e. majority Serbian communities' uniting with Serbia -- would instead create such a domino effect.

    &quot;When you start drawing new borders, where do you stop?&quot; he replied to a question from the audience, moments before he framed his argument for independence by saying Kosovo is a &quot;unique case&quot; because it previously retained distinct borders and institutions.

    In other matters, he said his administration was &quot;disappointed&quot; with a recent decision by Martti Ahtisaari, the UN special envoy for the Kosovo's future status process, to delay the process until after the Serbian national elections in January, &quot;although we can live with that&quot;.

    In opening his address, held at a downtown Athens hotel across from the Greek parliament, √eku thoroughly praised Athens' involvement in the region, stressing that &quot;Greece is a leading European country in our part of the world. We are here to explain our position and to ask for support.

    &quot;...Our message is: we believe the only workable, practical solution is independence,&quot; he said.

    The Kosovo leader's address was organised by the Athens-based Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP).

    Caption: Greek FM Bakoyannis, right, received Kosovo Premier √eku on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2006, at the foreign ministry. ANA-MPA photo / A. Beltes.

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