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					Main Stories                                 5 February 2008
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      Independence in February (Express)
      Krasniqi: Independence to be declared in February (Dailies)
      Betting date: February 17 (Koha Ditore)
      Sarkozy: Independence is inevitable (Zëri)
      Steinmeier: Kosovo is not Taiwan (Dailies)
      Kosachyov: Russia will block independence of Kosovo (Koha Ditore)
      Ready to begin with the mission (Express)
      Janjic: The process of declaration has begun (Express)
      Samardjic calls on Serbs not to leave Kosovo (Zëri)
      Ahmeti and Mahmuti meet with Thaçi (Dailies)


Kosovo Media Highlights
Independence in February (Express)
Express reports that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, within two days at a
meeting with the heads of the most powerful Western diplomacies, will decide the
date for the independence of Kosovo, which will most probably not be postponed any
later than 20 February.

“It is expected that in this meeting it will be decided that latest by 20 February,
Kosovo will declare its independence based on the package of President Martti
Ahtisaari,” an unnamed source told the paper.

Krasniqi: Independence to be declared in February (Dailies)
President of Kosovo Assembly, Jakup Krasniqi told the media that independence is
expected to be declared during February. Krasniqi did not go into details about the
date but said it is enough to know the timeframe. Krasniqi made the statement after
meeting Bardhyl Mahmuti, leader of Albanian Democratic Union from Macedonia.

Betting date: February 17 (Koha Ditore)
The paper writes that many international officials in Brussels expected that Kosovo
institutions would announce the date of declaration of independence on Monday but
this did not happen.
 “We think this was a wise move from Pristina’s part and we think that when we will
have declaration of independence there will be no need to announce the date
beforehand,” an EU official told the paper.

The paper further says that there were voices in Brussels who argued that
independence should be declared on 9 March, following elections in Spain.

By the end of the day there was general agreement that independence of Kosovo
should not be declared before the EU signs the Stabilisation and Association
Agreement with Serbia.

Several EU officials contacted by the paper said that if they had to bet on the date
when independence would be declared, they’d put their money on February, namely
17 February, a day ahead of the EU foreign ministers meeting.

Sarkozy: Independence is inevitable (Zëri)
Citing information broadcast by Rompress, Zëri reports that French President
Nicholas Sarkozy said yesterday in Budapest that the independence of Kosovo is
inevitable.

After a meeting with his Hungarian counterpart, Sarkozy added that independence
should happen in the best possible circumstances and that Europe should remain
united on this issue.

The Hungarian President said Romania would remain loyal and a partner of the
European Union about the decision, but would not recognize the unilateral declaration
of Kosovo’s independence.

Steinmeier: Kosovo is not Taiwan (Dailies)
Dailies quote German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier who, speaking about
Kosovo’s final status, said that “history can not be stopped”.

“We wanted to have a negotiated solution with Serbia, but that didn’t work, and now
we can not stop the flow of history”, papers quoted him as saying.

On the question why Taiwan can not be a state and Kosovo can, Steinmeier said that
Kosovo is a different problem adding that Kosovo is the last unresolved problem after
the brake of Yugoslavia.

Kosachyov: Russia will block independence of Kosovo (Koha Ditore)
Head of the Foreign Relations Committee in the Russian Duma, Konstantin
Kosachyov, said that Russia will try to block independence of Kosovo on an
international level.

“Russia should use every opportunity at its disposal to block admittance of Kosovo as
an independence state in the UN,” he said. He added that Russia will be able to block
Kosovo’s membership to the OSCE as well.
Ready to begin with the mission (Express)
Express quotes Serbian news agency Tanjug reporting that the European Union has
approved, through a quick procedure, a document which enables deployment of the
EU Mission in Kosovo.

Now the political decision of the Council of Ministers remains to be made, which will
be called “Operation Plan.”

Janjic: The process of declaration has begun (Express)
The paper quotes Serb political analyst, Dusan Janjic, as saying on Monday, that after
the Serbian presidential elections, conditions are ready for the start of the process of
declaring Kosovo’s independence according to Martti Ahtisaari’s Plan.

Janjic also said that by 18 February the Kosovo Assembly will make the declaration
and call on the Government of Kosovo to prepare the Constitution and on the
European Union to support Kosovo’s path toward Europe. According to Janjic, this
will be sufficient for the EU to deploy its mission in Kosovo.

Samardjic calls on Serbs not to leave Kosovo (Zëri)
Zëri reports that the Serbian Minister for Kosovo, Slobodan Samardjic, said yesterday
in Hoçë e Madhe, near Rahovec, that regardless of Kosovo’s status, Serbia would
forever remain with Kosovo Serbs and called on them not to leave their homes in
Kosovo.

Samardjic, who also visited the town of Rahovec, promised local Serbs that Serbia
would invest in their settlements and would open new jobs in order to secure their
survival. “My message for Serbs in Hoçë and Rahovec is to remain in their homes,
regardless of the developments,” Samardjic was quoted as saying.

Ahmeti and Mahmuti meet with Thaçi (Dailies)
Papers report about the visit the leader of Albanian Democratic Union in Macedonia,
Bardhyl Mahmuti, and the Leader of Democratic Union for Integration, Ali Ahmeti,
paid to the government of Kosovo, where they meet with key Kosovo politicians.

During their visit to Pristina they met with the Assembly Speaker Jakup Krasniqi,
Prime Minister of Kosovo Hashim Thaçi and the president of Kosovo, Fatmir Sejdiu.



Kosovo Press Headlines

Koha Ditore
Front page
 Bet day: 17 February
 Symbol proposals go to the Assembly
 Jakup Krasniqi: Independence will be declared in February
 Steinmeier: Kosovo cannot be compared to Taiwan
 U.S. policy towards Kosovo does not change
 Sarkozy: Kosovo’s independence, unavoidable
 Constitution is being lectured, it will be presented on 8 February

Other headlines
 Albania will be alongside Kosovo after declaration of independence (4)
 Kosachyov: Russia will block Kosovo’s independence (4)
 Italian government informed of judge Maurizio Salustro violations (5)
 Serbia will be with you, whatever happens with Kosovo (6)
 Vllasi: Status does not depend on Tadic (6)
 No telephone code without independence (8)
 It’s time to say the truth in Serbia (10)


Zëri
Front page
 How much does Tadic’s victory in presidential elections influence on Kosovo’s
   status?
 EU countries agree to send the mission to Kosovo
 Editorial: February of decisions
 Pristina announces declaration of independence this month
 Steinmeier: History cannot be stopped
 Sarkozy: Kosovo’s independence, unavoidable
 Ahmeti and Mahmuti want the date of Kosovo independence declaration not
   to delay

Other headlines
 U.S. and EU: Serbs chose the road of European integration (2)
 Kosovo Serbs split in three groups (3)
 Committed to cooperate with all countries that supported Kosovo (4)
 Samardzic asked Serbs not to leave Kosovo (6)
 Constitution determines Kosovo will have its army, says Ramë Manaj (11)


Kosova Sot
Front page
 Winning symbols
 Editorial: There is no unilateral declaration
 EU decides, €205m for EULEX
 We will declare [independence] in February

Other headlines
 Statehood laws to be approved soon (3)
 Sarkozy does not move from the pro independence stance (3)
 Moscow: We can block Kosovo’s entrance into OSCE (4)
 Samardzic in Hoça e Madhe (4)
 KPS: We are managing the situation (4)
 Kostunica is preparing a blockade for Kosovo (4)
 Te end of the game with radicals (5)
 Tadic’s election does not have an impact in Kosovo (5)


Epoka e Re
Front page
 He believes in Thaçi
 Independence can be delayed until March
 Red and black colour dominates, but…
 Sarkozy: Kosovo’s independence, unavoidable
 This is how your Italian compatriot “shares” justice
 Tadic’s victory does not fright them

Other headlines
 EU has approved the framework for the mission in Kosovo (2)
 Solana: Solution for Kosovo to be found without delay (2)
 Steinmeier: History cannot be stopped (2)
 Holbrooke: Some parts of Kosovo will not recognise independence (2)
 Rupel: I do not believe Kosovo will declare independence soon (2)
 Serb coalition in doubt after liberals’ victory (3)
 He coordinates independence (4)
 Krasniqi: Declaration of independence, this month (4)


Express
Front page
 The date, in two days
 Immediate recognition
 Ready for the mission
 Symbols ready

Other headlines
 Editorial: The great compromise (2)
 They are happy for Tadic (3)
 Steinmeier: History cannot be stopped (4)
 Rupel: Kosovo will declare independence soon (5)
 They will change (5)


Lajm
Front page
 Thaçi is also waiting for the date
 Red, black and white
 Independence does not depend on Tadic
 Fragile [Presevo] Valley
Other headlines
 Steinmeier: History cannot be stopped (2)
 Declaration of inc – when U.S. and EU are ready (2)
 Basha: Preparations for the state are complete (2)
 EU approves the decision for sending the mission to Kosovo (3)
 Solana: No huge delays for Kosovo (3)
 Rupel does not believe Kosovo will declare independence soon (3)
 Kostunica is preparing a blockade (4)
 Samardzic visits Serbs of Bica [village] (4)


Bota Sot
Front page
 President Sejdiu: Kosovo’s independence will happen very soon
 EU approved the document for sending the mission to Kosovo
 Kosovo is one of the biggest successes of my career
 Five proposals for Kosovo’s flag and coat of arms got selected

Other headlines
 Rehn: EU is ready to send its civil mission to Kosovo (2)
 Preparations for the declarations of independence are coming to an end (2)
 Kosovo is prepared for independence with constitution and state symbols (3)
 The government will cooperate with all countries that supported Kosovo (3)
 Krasniqi: Independence in February (4)
 Kosovo very close to the EU and NATO (5)


InfoPress
Front page
 KEK loses millions of euros per month
 The mission gets the green light
 Now, the declaration
 Rupel: I do not hope for quick declaration

Other headlines
 Ready for independence (2)
 Paris and Bucharest with opposing stances (4)
 Russian Duma official, Konstantin Kosachyov warns (4)
 Steinmeier: History cannot be stopped (4)
 Kosovo, one of the topics of discussion (4)
 Declaration of independence on 15 February (5)



Belgrade Media Highlights
 EU adopts Kosovo mission plan in urgent procedure (B92/Tanjug)
   Dismembering of Serbia the aim of sending EU mission to Kosovo (RTS)
   Samardzic calls upon Serbs not to leave Kosovo (RTS)
   Basesku: Romania firmly opposes independence of Kosovo (Beta)
   Titov: Kosovo issue only within the UN (Beta)
   Tadic: Peace and cooperation, with the respect of Serbia (RTS)
   Foreign governments congratulate Tadic (RTS/Tanjug)

EU adopts Kosovo mission plan in urgent procedure (B92/Tanjug)
The EU adopted a document to define its planned mission to Kosovo. The document,
dubbed Joint Action, which deals with the legal and financial bases for such a mission
was adopted in urgent procedure in Brussels, Tanjug has learned from its sources with
the EU. Only a single formal step remains for an EU mission to sent to Kosovo to
replace UNMIK there, and that is a decision by the Council of Ministers on the
adoption of the Operative Plan, Tanjug's sources said. The mission would be deployed
only a day after the Operative Plan is adopted. The most frequently mentioned date for
this is 18 February, when the EU foreign ministers are due to meet.

Dismembering of Serbia the aim of sending EU mission to Kosovo (RTS)
Serbian Minister for Education Zoran Loncar said that if Serbia signs the political
agreement with the EU, even after its decision to send a mission to create an
independent Kosovo, Serbia would be the first to recognize the province’s
independence. Loncar told Beta that the EU’s decision to send the political agreement
to Serbia and to instruct its mission to Kosovo with the aim of dismembering Serbia
just one day after the presidential election represents the overt blackmail of Serbia, the
Minister underlined. He underlined that Serbia has always rejected blackmail, no
matter who it came from, and voiced hope that the same will happen with this one as
well.

Samardzic calls upon Serbs not to leave Kosovo (RTS)
Serbian Minister for Kosovo Slobodan Samardzic stated in Velika Hoca that
regardless of the province’s status Serbia will always take care of the Serbs in the
province and called upon them not to abandon their houses and homesteads.
Accompanied by his associates, Samardzic arrived in Kosovo, and following Velika
Hoca he also visited Serbs in Orahovac and said that this town is a modern European
ghetto in which people live indoors, enclosed by barbed wire like they did in Warsaw
during WWII. The Minister promised the Serbs in Orahovac and Velika Hoca that
Serbia will invest in their towns and open new jobs to help them remain in their
homes. He said that another huge problem is that Serbs in the Orahovac municipality
farm only 30% of their arable land because the majority of fertile fields have been
usurped. My message to Serbs in Velika Hoca and Orahovac is to remain on their land
despite everything, stressed Samardzic.

Basesku: Romania firmly opposes independence of Kosovo (Beta)
Romania will be a loyal partner to other EU countries, but is firm in its position that it
will never recognize unilaterally proclaimed independence of Kosovo, stressed
Romanian President Traian Basesku after talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy
in Bucharest. This was the reaction to Sarkozy’s assessment that independence of
Kosovo was unavoidable and that the EU should find a unified position to do this in
the best possible manner. Sarkozy had previously said that France welcomes the
victory of Boris Tadic at the presidential elections and wants to send Serbia a
pacifying message that its place is in the EU.

Titov: Kosovo issue only within the UN (Beta)
The solution to the Kosovo problem must be found only within the UN SC, stressed
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov. He warned the EU that there is no
justification for achieving a legitimate role in the process of finding a solution by
circumventing the SC. Brussels must not neglect the key role of the UN and the
generally accepted principles of the resolving of crises, which entails the sending of a
civilian mission to replace UNMIK in Kosovo, stressed Titov.

Tadic: Peace and cooperation, with the respect of Serbia (RTS)
Boris Tadic, the winner of the presidential elections in Serbia, said to his supporters
gathered at the victory celebration that he wants peace and cooperation with all
peoples, but others must also respect Serbia and its people. He told Serbs in Kosovo
that he would never let them down and thanked all those that supported his idea, and
this is, as he reminded, the idea of Serbia that conquers Europe through its work,
people, and success.

Foreign governments congratulate Tadic (RTS/Tanjug)
The US Government congratulated Tadic on his victory at the presidential elections
and promised to intensify cooperation with Serbia in order to accelerate its European
integrations. State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack stressed that
Washington wants to establish constructive ties with Serbia on all issues of common
interest. Pointing out that Tadic had promised Serbian citizens a European future,
McCormack underlined that the US would intensively cooperate with the Serbian
authorities in order to fulfill this promise.

The US congratulated Boris Tadic on his re-election and praised the citizens for the
large turnout at the free, fair and democratic presidential elections, announced the US
Embassy in Belgrade. It was underlined that Washington was determined to work
together with Tadic and Serbian citizens in turning Serbia into a country that is set on
further prosperity. The Serbian people have clearly chosen the path that will lead
Serbia into Western integrations, where it belongs.

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and PM Romano Prodi congratulated Tadic on
his victory at the presidential elections, pointing out that the Italian Government
would support the continuation of Serbia’s European integration. Reminding of the
traditional friendship of the two peoples and the very good bilateral cooperation of the
two countries, the highest Italian officials stressed that Rome was prepared to firmly
support Belgrade on its path towards EU accession.

The German Government has welcomed the election of Boris Tadic, assessing this
choice as good news for Europe. The Serbian people have stressed that it sees Serbia’s
future in Europe, which is good news for all of Europe, specified deputy spokesperson
of the German Government Thomas Schteg. Tadic’s re-election was welcomed by
other high representatives of many European countries, and countries of the region.
The EU presidency congratulated Boris Tadic on his re-election as Serbian President
and expressed belief that this will encourage progress of the country towards the EU,
including the signing of the Stabilization and Association Agreement. The EU
underlines that Serbia has a key role in the West Balkans and that the Serbian people
are a part of the European family. They also welcomed the high voter turnout as well
as the fact that they confirmed support to the democratic and European path of the
country.

EU High Representative Javier Solana said that the victory of Boris Tadic represents a
sign that the majority of the people want to continue towards EU membership. Solana
said that he was satisfied by the results and congratulated Tadic, assessing this as a
great success for the president and the Serbian people, especially due to the large voter
turnout. The election results are a sign that most people in Serbia want to continue
European integrations and Europe is pleased by this, stressed Solana. According to
him, the EU wants Serbia to accelerate EU accession, as this is the wish of the
majority of the Serbian people.

By re-electing Boris Tadic, the Serbian population has decided in favor of a policy
aimed at progress, assessed Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik. She said that
this is a decision to turn from the recipes of the past and a vote for the continuation on
the European path. The large voter turnout showed that the people are aware of the
importance of these elections, which decided Serbia’s path, stated Plassnik, adding
that this is a confirmation of the country’s democratic maturity. As the president of all
Serbs, it is up to Tadic to build bridges to include citizens into the European reform
and integration process, as Serbia’s place is and remains in Europe, said the Austrian
Foreign Minister.

Russia is prepared to develop good relations with Serbia and to support it in its
attempts to preserve its territorial integrity, said President of the Foreign Policy Board
of the Russian Duma Konstantin Kosachov, commenting the results of the presidential
elections in Serbia. Russian-Serbian relations will continue to improve, and as regards
to territorial integrity, Moscow will naturally continue to support the Serbian
leadership in this and hope that with joint efforts it will help prevent the situation from
collapsing, said Kosachov.

Russia will try to block the international recognition of Kosovo if provincial
authorities unilaterally proclaim independence, said Kosachov. He said that Russia
should use all its available possibilities to block Kosovo’s entry into the UN, and that
as regards the OSCE, the consensus rule is in place, which means that Moscow can
block Kosovo’s membership in that organization. Kosachov pointed out that the CoE
by possibly recognizing Kosovo would be taking a political position, which is not
usual for this organization and warned that the CoE would thus complicate relations
with Russia. According to him, if Kosovo unilaterally proclaims independence, Russia
would not recognize any documents issued by such a state.


                                                        Disclaimer
This media summary consists of selected local media articles for the information of UN personnel. The public distribution of
this media summary is a courtesy service extended by UNMIK on the understanding that the choice of articles translated is
exclusive, and the contents do not represent anything other than a selection of articles likely to be of interest to a United
Nations readership. The inclusion of articles in this summary does not imply endorsement by UNMIK.

				
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