Main Stories 9 April 2008 __________________________________________________ UNMIK ready to allow parliamentarian Serbian elections in Kosovo (Koha Ditore) Solana worried about elections in Serbia (Zëri) Rücker and Rossin to remain at UNMIK (Zëri) Ban Ki-moon in Moscow to discuss Kosovo with Putin (Zëri) U.S. opens embassy in Kosovo (dailies) Thaçi: UNMIK to cease in June (Lajm) Women in Mitrovica: Ban Ki -moon, dismiss Gallucci (dailies) Agim Çeku to head PSDK from Thursday (Koha Ditore) Lavrov: Serbs have the right to express their will in Kosovo (Zëri) Rohan accuses Belgrade for the riots in Kosovo (dailies) Serb police officers returning to KPS ( Zëri) AKR begins falling apart (Express) Kosovo Media Highlights UNMIK ready to allow parliamentarian Serbian elections in Kosovo (Koha Ditore) While Quint representatives (France, Italy, Germany, the UK and the U.S.) and the Government of Kosovo basically agree that Serbian elections should be allowed to be held in Kosovo on May 11, there is disagreement over whether Serbian local elections should be held on the same day as the parliamentarian poll, reports Koha Ditore. Western diplomats say that as a result of the difference of opinion, the United Nations is not rushing to take a decision on whether to give the green light to the staging of Serbian elections in Kosovo. “We are not hurrying, and to tell you the truth, we are trying to extend this issue as much as possible, whether to agree to have both elections or not ,” according to a Western source. Solana worried about elections in Serbia (Zëri) EU High Representative Javier Solana expressed concern over the staging of Serbia’s May 11 elections in Kosovo, noting the possibility of a win by the radicals, the paper reports. “We have in front of us an important date. I want to mention local elections because we have to wait and see how UNMIK will deal with Serbia’s local elections in the northern part of Kosovo, where the situation has not yet stabilized,” Solana said. Rücker and Rossin to remain in UNMIK (Zëri) The paper reports that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has rejected the resignations of UNMIK Chief Joachim Rücker and his Principal Deputy Larry Rossin. The paper had earlier reported that Rossin told the UN in New York that UNMIK will be without a SRSG and PDSRSG if UNMIK Regional Representative in Mitrovica Jerry Gallucci doesn’t soon leave Kosovo. Ban Ki-moon today in Moscow to discuss Kosovo (Zëri) United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon has announced that the issue of Kosovo will be one of the main issues he will discuss whilst in Moscow. “Actually the situation on the ground is very calm, but it is absolutely necessary that the international community and both interested sides do everything to maintain peace and stability,” Ban told UN Radio before leaving for Moscow. He reiterated that UNMIK will continue to act in Kosovo according to the Resolution 1244. U.S. opens its embassy in Kosovo (dailies) The United States liaison office in Kosovo reopened on Tuesday as the US Embassy. Tina Kaidanow, who is currently holding the position of the U.S. Ambassador in Kosovo, said the opening of the embassy presents a new phase and highlights sustainable commitment to work towards progress in Kosovo. Thaçi: UNMIK to cease in June (Lajm) Kosovo Prime Minister, Hashim Thaçi is quoted as saying that Kosovo institutions are working together with UN authorities and the new civilian mission so that the transition process ends successfully on 15 June. Thaçi expressed his belief that the transition, which includes transfer of competencies to the Kosovo Government and the phasing out of UNMIK, will conclude by mid-June. Women in Mitrovica: Ban Ki-moon, dismiss Gallucci (dailies) Representatives of a women’s protest group in Mitrovica have sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asking him to dismiss UNMIK Regional Representative in Mitrovica Jerry Gallucci from his post. Attached to the letter is a petition signed by over 5,000 citizens. Agim Çeku to head PSDK from Thursday (Koha Ditore) Former Kosovo Prime Minister Agim Çeku is expected to take over leadership of the Social Democratic Party of Kosovo which has been led by Kaqusha Jashari, the paper reports. Both Çeku and Jashari have neither confirmed nor denied the news. The paper adds that Çeku is to take over the party on 10 April during its convention. Lavrov: Serbs have the right to express their will in Kosovo (Zëri) Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that minorities that live in Kosovo, especially Serbs have the full right to express their will, where they want to live and where they want to stay, writes Zëri. He said this in the Russian Duma on 2 April, pointing out that it is not a coincidence that in Mitrovica and other enclaves, Serbs have refused to cooperate with international peace keepers, except for KFOR and UNMIK which operate under Resolution 1244. Rohan accuses Belgrade of instigating riots in Kosovo (dailies) Former deputy envoy of the United Nations for Kosovo status Albert Rohan has accused Belgrade of instigating the riots and recent problems in Kosovo, papers report. “Belgrade is manipulating Serbs by financing them while aiming to create a Serb entity in Kosovo,” papers quote Rohan as saying during a meeting that held in the European Club. Serb police officers returning to KPS ( Zëri) The paper quotes KPS spokesperson Veton Elshani saying that more than seven Serb members of the KPS have resumed their duties in the area of Pristina and Gjilan. “We expect the return of the others as well,” said Elshani. There are around 300 Serb KPS members that refused to work under KPS command since Kosovo declared its independence. AKR begins falling apart (Express) Arsim Rexhepi and Driton Tali, the latter a member of the Kosovo Assembly from the AKR led by Behgjet Pacolli, have left the party saying it is impossible to continue working in that environment anymore. AKR leader Pacolli accused Tali of incompetence while Rexhepi, according to him, is dishonest having forged his CV. “AKR welcomes the departure of Driton Tali and Arsim Rexhepi from the party,” Pacolli said in a statement. Kosovo Press Headlines Koha Ditore Front page UNMIK ready to allow Serbian parliamentary elections Ban Ki-moon, help us have peace in our home, remove Gallucci Kosovo’s constitution approved without a parliamentary debate Rohan accuses Belgrade for disorders in Kosovo Agim Çeku, as of Thursday, on top of PSDK Donor’s money should not be spent in caramels Shareholders of IPKO mobile phone operator The story of the French that had fought in KLA Other headlines USA opens the Embassy in Kosovo (2) Haradinaj does not rule out pre-election coalition with LDK (3) EU to extend in the entire Kosovo (4) Roma live in difficult conditions, government continues wi th promises (6) “Super-cheaters” arrested (8) Cigarettes confiscated at Pristina Airport (8) Plaques to be sent out of the country for analysis (9) Long lived the “Union”! (10) Partition of Kosovo is harmful for both Serbs and Albanians (11) Zëri Front page 15 June – the date when the role of the internationals in Kosovo will change Editorial: US Embassy in Pristina USA with Embassy in Kosovo Serb police return to KPS Will EU offer Serbia on 28 April the Stabilization-Association Agreement? Solana worried about Serb elections Haradinaj empowers his party for 2009 elections Rohan: UNMIK is receiving instructions from New York on transfer of competences KTA Board decides today on the appointment of Edmond Hajrizaj for the head of PTK Other headlines Lavrov: Serbs have the right to express their will in Kosovo (2) Rücker and Rossin remain on the top of UNMIK, Ban Ki -moon refuses their resignations (3) Editorial: Kosovo as a test of a pro-European Serb policy (3) Ban Ki-moon discusses Kosovo with Putin in Moscow today (3) It is senseless for Russia to send soldiers in Kosovo, says Lavrov (4) Belgrade is waiting for Rücker’s answer on voting in Kosovo and is preparing for them (4) 17 March protests in Mitrovica have been orchestrated by Belgrade (5) Kosovo Assembly approves the constitution today (6) Kosovo institutions promise support for the integration of Roma (7) Krasniqi: Efforts for holding Serb elections in Kosovo are a failure (7) Çohu: Government hypocrisy on anticorruption war continues (9) Gallucci is unwanted, women of Mitrovica write to Ban Ki -moon (11) Kosova Sot Front page USA opens the Embassy in Pristina Editorial: Embassies Solana, Serb elections in the north of Kosovo as well DiCarlo: We will continue to support Kosovo Grand [Hotel], six more months’ deadline for the buyer Other headlines Deputies to vote for the constitution today (2) Rohan, Serbs may fail in one part of Ahtisaari’s plan (2) Investments, Thaçi invites Germans (3) Switzerland bans the inauguration of Del Ponte’s book (4) Lavrov: Russia does not send troops in Kosovo (4) Ahmeti: Skopje should not drag the recognition (4) Sejdiu, violence in the north, orchestrated by Belgrade (4) Epoka e Re Front page Local Serb elections violate Kosovo’s sovereignty State foundations will be laid today Kosovo and the USA establish diplomatic relations Haradinaj ready to help Thaçi Ban Ki-moon discusses Kosovo in Moscow as well The historic court Other headlines Kouchner: I do not know about charges against Thaçi (2) Switzerland bans Carla Del Ponte the inauguration of the scandalous book “Hunt” (2) Solana: EULEX will be deployed in the entire Kosovo (2) Tadic: EU mission in Kosovo, illegal (2) Rohan: Belgrade government guilty for disorders in Kosovo (3) Lavrov: It is senseless to send the army in Kosovo (3) Kostunica: NATO is looking for political forces that would accept Kosovo (3) Jeremic: We will demand a compromise (3) Kosovo’s recognition has stabilized the region (4) Independence does not solve all problems (6) Women tell Ban Ki-moon: Gallucci is unwanted (6) Express Front page The American story AKR’s dismantling starts Arrests that were not made in KEK Urgent investigations Nomination fevers Other headlines Editorial: Do not allow the destruction of Union! (2) Ban Ki-moon in Moscow on Kosovo (3) UNMIK in a difficult position (3) It doesn’t make sense to send the army (4) Feith not to deal with Serb elections (4) Thaçi has not worn a uniform (4) [Sejdiu] asks for time (5) They write to Ban Ki-moon (7) Lajm Front page Skënder’s improvising team “Yes”, with dilemmas Kosovo has confidence on the USA Stop to Serbian nationalist hysteria ORA has stopped Other headlines Sejdiu: Protests in Mitrovica were orchestrated by Belgrade (2) UNMIK fades out in June, Thaçi says (3) Serbia’s elections in the north of Kosovo as well! (3) Some Serbs have returned in KPS (4) Tadic will recognize Kosovo (5) Protests and petition for the removal of Gallucci (5) Serb and Russian aid are coming to Kosovo without obstacles (5) Government blocks boards (6) Privatization remains in the hands of the internationals (7) We intend to intensify relations with Kosovo (9) Bota Sot Front page 17 March protests in Mitrovica have been organized by Serbian MUP A historic date in state relations between USA and Kosovo When will Kosovo join the EU? Kosovo’s constitution to be approved today in the Assembly Kosovo – a place of stability and investment opportunities Other headlines Let’s make Kosovo a functional state (2) EULEX mission to extend in the entire territory of Kosovo (4) Sweden’s support for the Republic of Kosovo is confirmed (4) Del Ponte is prohibited to inaugurate her book in Switzerland (4) Haradinaj commits to empower the role of the opposition (5) Kosovo is our home, remove Gallucci! (5) Belgrade’s government is guilty for all disorders in Kosovo (8) We intend to intensify relations with Kosovo (9) InfoPress Front page Friendship crowned Constitution to be approved today Solana w arns LDK with dilemmas on the Minister! Other headlines Independence does not solve all problems (4) Kosovo and Slovenia establish diplomatic relations (4) EU mission in Kosovo is illegal (4) “Serb softening” towards Ahtisaari’s plan (5) Interstate cooperation to intensify (6) Bern bans the inauguration of [the book] “Hunt” (6) They are returning to KPS (9) Belgrade Media Highlights Ban Ki-moon and Russian officials to discuss Kosovo on Wednesday (RTS/Tanjug) Moscow: Preparation of Kosovo constitution leads to deteriorating situation (Tanjug) Lavrov: No sense sending army to Kosovo (Tanjug/RTS) Solana: EULEX should be deployed throughout Kosovo (Beta) Tadic: Feith has no mandate to deal with elections in Serbia (RTS) Loncar: Solana directly interferes with Serbian elections (Tanjug) Rohan: UNMIK in a difficult situation (Tanjug) Jeremic: Kosovo must not stand in way of EU accession (Beta) Protest in front of court building in Kosovska Mitrovica continues (Tanjug) Kuznetsov: Russians are with Serbs in Kosovo (Tanjug) Third contingent of humanitarian aid arrived from Russia (Tanjug) Ban Ki-moon and Russian officials to discuss Kosovo on Wednesday (RTS/Tanjug) Prior to the visit to Moscow, UN Secretary-General Ki-moon announced that Kosovo would be one of the main topics of his talks with Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. At the moment, the situation in the field is fairly peaceful, but it is absolutely necessary that the international community and both interested parties do everything to preserve peace and stability, Ban Ki-moon stated for the UN Radio. He reiterated that UNMIK would continue with its mission in Kosovo in accordance with UNSCR 1244 as a legal framework for the status. Moscow: Preparation of Kosovo constitution leads to deteriorating situation (Tanjug) Preparation of the Kosovo constitution represents an attempt to corroborate self-proclaimed independence of the province by pseudo-legal base and it is continuation of Pristina’s separatist policy and its sponsors, contrary to norms of international law, assessed the Russian Foreign Ministry. The statement reads that obviously a part of the Kosovo population not accepting self - proclaimed independence will not accept the constitution of the province and therefore the situation will deteriorate even more. Instead of creating outer attributes of an illegal state form, it is necessary to think about an acceptable outcome that can be achieved only through a dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, the Russian Ministry stated. Russia has officially raised a question with the Hague Tribunal whether this court possesses the information on crimes against Kosovo Serbs mentioned in the memoirs of former chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte, and what has been undertaken to investigate those cases. The Russian Foreign Ministry stated that shocking are facts that were publicized on hideous crimes against the peaceful Serb population, which were committed by KLA members under the slogan of fighting for independence of Kosovo. Commenting media reports that Switzerland forbade Del Ponte to participate in promotion of her book The Hunt: I and War Criminals, the Russian Foreign Ministry assesses that it is no wonder that such discoveries of Del Ponte do not fit the scenario of a series of countries that propagate on the Kosovo Albanians as martyrs, and, based on that, on legitimacy of Kosovo’s independence. Del Ponte stated in her book that there is a suspicion that KLA members took out organs from the Serbs kidnapped in Kosovo and sold them. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has stated that, as far as he knows, there have never been charges against Kosovo Premier Hashim Tachi for involvement in trafficking with organs of Kosovo Serbs, as stated in the book by former ICTY chief prosecutor Carla del Ponte. I don’t know about Tachi , but he never fought, never wore a uniform, Kouchner told a press conference in Paris. The French Foreign Minister, who headed UNMIK from 1999 to 2001, added that there were allegations for a certain number of Tachi’s friends, but that they didn’t end with an indictment. The same was with former KLA commander Ramush Haradinaj during his short stay in the ICTY, who was acquitted by the same court whose chief prosecutor was Del Ponte, said Kouchner. According to him, “the least we can do is to say that this is controversial.” Lavrov: No sense sending army to Kosovo (Tanjug/RTS) There is no sense for Russia to send its army to Kosovo, stated Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, adding that the situation hasn’t changed in relation to the period when the decision was brought for the Russian contingent to withdraw from the southern Serbian province. Lavrov told Radio Echo that the process of recognizing Kosovo’s independence didn’t go according to the planned scenario. It was planned for around 100 countries to be talked into or forced to recognize Kosovo’s independence, but only 37 countries have recognized Kosovo, while more than 50 stated they would not recognize it, said Lavrov. Moscow is ready to exert joint efforts with Belgrade to achieve a just and lasting solution for Kosovo, reiterated Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in talks with Serbian Ambassador to Russia Stanimir Vukicevic. The Russian Foreign Ministry stated that key issues of cooperation between Russia and Serbia were discussed, as well as the resolving of the Kosovo issue. Solana: EULEX should be deployed throughout Kosovo (Beta) EU High Representative Javier Solana stated in Brussels that the EU mission should be deployed throughout Kosovo and assessed that after the elections in Serbia, the next key moment will be 15 June when, as he stated, the Kosovo constitution will come into force. In addressing the Foreign Policy Committee of the European Parliament, Solana underlined that 11 May elections in Serbia will be very important because they will be held in northern Kosovo for the first time. We have to see how it will look like and how the entire situation will develop between 11 May and 15 June. UN and EU experts, as diplomatic sources told Beta in Brussels, are working on some kind of “memorandum on understanding” that should harmonize technical and some legal provisions of cooperation between UNMIK and EULEX in Kosovo. Tadic: Feith has no mandate to deal with elections in Serbia (RTS) Serbian President Boris Tadic stated that the Head of the EULEX Mission Pieter Feith has no mandate to deal with the elections in Serbia and emphasized that the mission Feith is heading is in Kosovo illegally since there is no UN SC decision on its deployment. In regard to Feith’s statement that EULEX will wait for the elections outcome in Serbia prior to deciding on taking over competencies from the UN in northern Kosovo, he specified that Feith has no mandate to get involved in Serbian internal issues. The Serbian President stated that Feith is implementing decisions only of those EU members that recognized illegally and unilaterally proclaimed Kosovo’s independence, and reminded that there are countries in the EU that do not recognize this illegal act of Pristina. What Feith does is assistance to anti-European forces in Serbia in providing them with an alibi to come to power, Tadic emphasized. Loncar: Solana directly interferes with Serbian elections (Tanjug) Serbian Minister for Education Zoran Loncar accused EU High Representative Javier Solana of direct interference with elections and internal affairs of Serbia. Solana says that he loves Serbia very much and that he wants to help pro - European coalition Canak, DS, and G17, and at the same time underlined that it is important to him that after this, the Constitution of the first NATO state will come into force, Loncar told Tanjug. He reminded Solana that by the decision to bomb Serbia in 1999, he destroyed the Serbian state enough and that it would be necessary for him now to refrain. It would be also important that Solana says something about war criminals and fighters for the first NATO state Ramush Haradinaj and Hashim Tachi who killed Serbs to traffic human organs, said Loncar asking whether Solana has anything to comment on that. Rohan: UNMIK in a difficult situation (Tanjug) The former UN deputy envoy for the Kosovo Status Talks Albert Rohan said that by having declared independence, the issue of the Kosovo status was resolved for ever, while conflicts went on due to Serbia’s resistance which was backed by Russia on the diplomatic level. He added that the international mediators had no other possibility but to set forth a proposal for resolving the Kosovo crisis, as there had been no chances for a Belgrade-Pristina agreement. In his words, the international mediators proposed a supervised independence with some measures in favor of the Serb minority in Kosovo. “We took independence as the basis for our proposal, reaching out to Belgrade with various independence limitations. The goal of all these measures was to enable the Kosovo Serbs to have a normal and safe life, as well as to enable those who have left to return. Martti Ahtisaari’s plan is a compromise-based proposal which Belgrade rejected since its basis is independence, while the Kosovars, who were also dissatisfied, accepted it as a price of the so desired independence,” Rohan said. Despite Belgrade’s resistance, he said, no one should fear a large-scale confrontation because Serbia is not ready for that. “However, local armed clashes can be expected. A few weeks ago we had a clash in Mitrovica, which is proven to have been organized by Belgrade. The problem of all these minor clashes is that every spark may lead to an escalation,” he said. “Multiethnicity in Kosovo can only be coexistence at the best, and not integration of all the communities in a joint society,” Rohan said, pointing out that even Ahtisaari’s proposal was not the best solution, and that an agreement would actually be the best solution. The problem is, as he said, that the Serbs boycott the international and Kosovo institutions upon Belgrade’s instructions, and as a result, it will not be possible to implement the measures that protect them. Jeremic: Kosovo must not stand in way of EU accession (Beta) Serbia’s rejection to accept Kosovo’s independence must not affect its EU integration, stated Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic in Nicosia. After the meeting with his Cypriot counterpart Marcos Ciprianu, he stated that over the past days there was much confusion and a lot of those who tried to insinuate that Serbia will have to accept Kosovo’s independence to preserve its European intentions, but that it is not true. Jeremic did not specify who mentioned possible connection of the issues of EU accession and recognition of Koso vo stating that Serbia does not expect to be presented with such a condition. He reiterated that Serbia will not give up its sovereignty and territorial integrity and that at the same time it will not give up on its effort to become an EU member. Ciprianu emphasized that Cypress opposes Kosovo’s independence adding that a significant number of EU members share that position. To us it is a matter of principle and preservation of integrity of all countries, Ciprianu said. Protest in front of court building i n Kosovska Mitrovica continues (Tanjug) Serb judicial workers continued their protest in front of the main gate of the District and Municipal courts in north Kosovska Mitrovica. They request to be allowed to return to premises from which they were expelled after arrival of UNMIK and KFOR in Kosovo in 1999. The protest was carried out peacefully. Barbwire is placed in front of the gate, and KFOR members are securing the building. Kuznetsov: Russians are with Serbs in Kosovo (Tanjug) Representative of the Association Our Russia Aleksandr Kuznetsov stated that Russian representatives and people are with Serbia and Serbs in Kosovo in these difficult times. At the rally entitled Kosovo Is Serbia in northern Kosovska Mitrovica, Kuznetsov accused the US for genocide of the Serb people underlining that the Russians know the truth and that the aim of the US is to destroy the Serbian statehood, since Serbia is the main ally of Russia in the Balkans. Political representatives of Kosovo Serbs, with several thousands of people gathered at the rally, again reiterated that the Serbs are for continuation of the dialogue between Belgrade and UNMIK and requested that everyone adheres to UNSCR 1244. Third contingent of humanitarian aid arrived from Russia (Tanjug) The plane with the third contingent of the humanitarian aid, which the Russian Federation sent for Serb enclaves in Kosovo as ordered by the Ministry for Emergencies and Civil Defense, arrived in Belgrade. Foodstuffs and medicines were sent to Serbia based on the order of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The first shipment of 40 tons of foodstuffs and medicines arrived on 2 April, and the second one on 4 April. By 10 April, Russia will send four shipments of humanitarian aid for Serb enclaves in Kosovo, delivering in total 140 tons of foodstuffs and medicines worth some 1.7 million dollars. 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 UNM IK 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.