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Sunday, April 8

CGG: Government is manipulating to avoid the public pressure

CGG: Government is manipulating to avoid the public pressure
06.04.2007 ET Prishtina (KosovaLive)

The head of the Department of Energy and Mining of the Cabinet of Good Governance (CGG), Bajrush Xhemajli opposed today the decision to increase the electricity price, because of the extremely difficult situation in this sector.

Unity Team still without a decision over the state symbols competition

Unity Team still without a decision over the state symbols competition
06.04.2007 ET Pristhina (KosovaLive)

Kosova Unity Team has discussed today the issue of symbols, while according to them there is still no final decision as when will they announce the state symbol competition.

Tuesday, January 16

Kosovo President Reiterates Kosovo Albanians Call for Independence

Kosovo President Reiterates Kosovo Albanians' Call for Independence

In an interview at the Voice of America (VOA) Monday, Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu thanked the United States for its longstanding efforts in support of the people of Kosovo, and reaffirmed his province's call for independence.

In a live interview with VOA's Albanian-language TV show Ditari (Journal), President Sejdiu said the United States "has made a huge investment in favor of Kosovo and its citizens. " President Sejdiu and Kosovo Prime Minister Agim eku are scheduled to meet with U. S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to discuss progress achieved in the negotiations on the final status of Kosovo.

The United Nations is leading talks to determine Kosovo's future. Albanians in Kosovo insist on full independence, while the Belgrade government wants it to remain part of Serbia. President Sejdiu said that his government "will help the Serbian minority integrate in the institutions and establish constitutional guarantees for them. " He called this "a sincere offer. "

President Sejdiu firmly rejected any proposition aimed at partitioning Kosovo, suggesting that such ideas stem from Belgrade. He also stressed that the mandate of his government is independence for Kosovo.

VOA has played a unique role in broadcasting news and information to Kosovo's Albanian and Serb populations directly, via television. Both Serbian and Albanian politicians have given interviews to VOA in which they addressed members of each other's ethnic communities.

VOA Albanian's popular TV news program Ditari is broadcast 30 minutes each day to audiences throughout the Balkans. VOA also transmits 10. 5 hours a week of news in Albanian via shortwave. For more information on this broadcast and VOA Albanian programming, visit our web site on the Internet at www. VOANews. com/Albanian.

Kosovo bids for independence face to face with Serbs

Kosovo bids for independence face-to-face with Serbs

Kosovo formally made its pitch for independence face-to-face with Serbia on Monday at their first top-level talks since NATO bombs drove Serb forces from the province in 1999.

The one-day meeting in Vienna placed the Albanian majority's demand for independence on the agenda of a U. N. -led mediation process that began in February, seven years since the West intervened to halt a wave of ethnic cleansing and the United Nations took control. Kosovo's ethnic Albanian President Fatmir Sejdiu said independence was "the beginning and end of our position."

"The will for independence cannot be ignored or negotiated away in talks," he said, according to a copy of his speech.

Across the table, aides said Serbian President Boris Tadic predictably rejected the "ultimatum," setting the tone for talks that gave little hint of the compromise urged by the West.

It was the first time the presidents and prime ministers of both sides had held direct talks since Serbia's 1998-99 war with ethnic Albanian guerrillas. Some 10, 000 Albanian civilians died and 800, 000 fled, marking the culmination of a decade of Serb repression under late strongman Slobodan Milosevic.

Seven turbulent years later, the West says Kosovo's economic and political limbo is unsustainable. It wants a settlement within the year, which diplomats say will likely bring some form of independence with or without Serbian consent.

The two delegations avoided handshakes, entering the Gothic Room of the Vienna palace from opposite ends. Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica opted out of a joint lunch with the Kosovo delegation, which included two former guerrillas.

"It was business-like," one U. N. official said of the talks.


U. N. chief mediator Martti Ahtisaari had played down hopes of a breakthrough, given what diplomats say is an unbridgeable chasm between the two sides. Some 90 percent of Kosovo's 2 million people are Albanians who reject any return to Serb rule.

But Serbia sees Kosovo as its "Jerusalem," the cradle of Serbdom and home to scores of centuries-old Orthodox churches.

Kostunica said Belgrade could offer "substantial autonomy." But it "cannot accept the creation of a separate state on 15 percent of its territory."

Too little too late, said Kosovo negotiator Veton Surroi. "After everything we've been through, it is unrealistic to discuss modalities of autonomy. Kosovo will go its own way."

Ahtisaari opened lower-level direct talks in February on the rights of 100, 000 Serbs still in Kosovo, with little success.

Diplomats say the major powers see little alternative to independence, supervised for years by the European Union.

The United States is pushing hard for a deal in 2006, concerned that delay could spark fresh violence in a territory patrolled by 17, 000 NATO soldiers. Russia, a veto holder in the U. N. Security Council and traditional ally of Serbia, has cautioned against any "artificial timetable."

Half the Serb population fled a wave of revenge attacks in 1999. Many who stayed live in isolated enclaves, and view the prospect of independence from Serbia with increasing trepidation. The mainly Serb north has threatened partition.

Kosovo needs status deal to start talks with EU, commission says

Kosovo needs status deal to start talks with EU, commission says

The European Commission on Wednesday called for a 'politically and legally clear' status settlement for Serbia's breakaway province of Kosovo, saying this was vital for starting negotiations on aspired European Union membership.

EU enlargement commissioner Olli Rehn said that Kosovo needed a status treaty 'to enter into contractual relationships with the EU' for negotiating a stabilization and association deal, seen as the first step on the long way to EU accession.

The commission also urged Serbia to 'take a constructive approach on Kosovo' while commending Belgrade for responsible behaviour following Montenegro's independence last June.

Negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo are stalled with Pristina demanding full independence for the Serb province inhabited mostly by ethnic Albanians who want independence Kosovo, and Belgrade refusing it and instead offering some sort of autonomy for the province.

In a progress report on Kosovo, the commission said that the focus on the status issue has delayed reforms in key areas such as the rule of law, economy and public administration.

Kosovo's administration remained weak and judicial bodies made little progress in civil and criminal justice, the report said, adding that corruption remained widespread.

Pristina must also step up its fight against organised crime, the trafficking of human beings and drugs, agriculture statistics and property rights, the commission said.

The EU executive also urged Kosovo to end the discrimination of minority groups and to improve the conditions for the return of war refugees and displaced persons.

The commission also said that Kosovo made little progress towards becoming a functioning market economy and urged Pristina to tackle the high unemployment rate.

A report on Serbia highlighted Belgrade's failure to arrest Bosnian Serb wartime leader Ratko Mladic and several other war crimes suspects and deliver them to International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague.

Negotiations on a stabilization and association pact with the EU will be resumed 'as soon as full cooperation with the ICTY is achieved,' the commission reiterated.

It also said that Serbia's constitution presented 'some areas of concern, notably in relation to the independence of the judiciary.'

Belgrade must also step up its fight against corruption and implement civilian control over the military.

In addition, the commission pressed Serbia for more economic reforms, including strong fiscal adjustment.

More work was also needed in areas such as taxation, state aid, public procurement, intellectual property rights, consumer protection, food safety, environment, information society and financial control, the EU executive said.

Serbia must make more efforts on visa policy, border control, asylum, police and security services reform, the fight against organised crime and the protection of personal data, it added.

The 25-member EU in May suspended talks with the union of Serbia and Montenegro on a stabilization and association pact over the failure to arrest Mladic and other war crimes suspects and deliver them to the ICTY.

Negotiations with Montenegro, however, were resumed in September.

Tetovo University Anniversary, Incident

Tetovo University Anniversary, Incident

Wednesday evening the observance of the 12th anniversary of Tetovo University ended up with injured people who were taken to hospital. A group of about ten people claim they were beaten up by the security of DPA vice-president Menduh Thaci, which they interpret as a punishment for their exclamations ‘Fascist, Nationalist’ during the speech of Parliament Speaker Ljubisa Georgievski.

His address in Albanian proved to be insufficient to gain the sympathies of all those who were present. Thaci claims the incident was politically motivated by people close to Ahmeti.

The security removed the group of dissatisfied. One person from the same group claims that immediately afterwards he was beaten up by Thaci’s security of about twenty to thirty people: “We know how much pain Georgievski caused to the Albanians. He was against this university and he cannot come to such a ceremony and express such words. He does not exist for us.” After the incident Thaci declared he had no information that anybody had been beaten up by the security. Georgievski did not see this as an incident. Tetovo University was legalised in January 2004.

Macedonia - Kosovo Border Demarcation

Macedonia-Kosovo Border Demarcation

In the latest report of the International Crisis Group on Kosovo, the demarcation of the Kosovo-Macedonian border is not mentioned as one of the issues which are part of resolving Kosovo’s status.

According to the Europe Programme Director in the ICG, Nicholas Whyte, senior representatives of the Macedonian authorities requested the border not to be part of the negotiations on Kosovo, in order to avoid Macedonia being put in Kosovo’s context. The final decision will be passed by the Security Council and therefore it is illogical for Macedonia to ask from the UN to decide on this issue, which has already been resolved with the agreement concluded between Belgrade and Skopje in 2001, they said in ICG. “This position was clearly stated by the Macedonian representatives of all political parties. They did not want to be part of the Kosovo process from the beginning, but a consequence of this position is that the demarcation issue cannot be part of the final package for Kosovo,” Whyte stated. The expectations of Skopje - Macedonia not to be part of Kosovo’s situation - imply that the demarcation issue will definitely not be mentioned in the final package for Kosovo. According to Whyte, this issue will be discussed once it is determined on international level who is Macedonia’s partner in the process of placing border stones. The latest explanations of the ICG are opposite to the requests and promises given thus far – that the demarcation issue will be resolved in the course of negotiations on Kosovo’s final status.

Wednesday, November 8

Minister Termkolli invites Serbs to participate in census

Minister of Public Services Melihate Termkolli called today on all the Kosovar Serbs to participate in the pilot census process, evaluating it as an important project for all the Kosovars.

Doctors of the family medicine express their solidarity with UCCK strikers

Association of Doctors of the Family Medicine of Kosova (ADFMK) supported the demands of the medical workers of University Clinical Workers of Kosova (UCCK).

Kadare voices confident that Kosova is ready for independence

Kadare voices confident that Kosova is ready for independence

Famous Albanian writer, Ismail Kadare said today in Prishtina that the Kosovar people is prepared for independence which is expected to happen soon.

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