Monday, November 29, 2004

Violent protests against minorities "never will be planned" in Kosovo - Thaci

xcerpt from report by Marina Borozan: "Hashim Thaci: Me and Djukanovic understand each other perfectly" by Montenegrin newspaper Dan on 29 November

"My institutional relations with Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic are correct and include a mutual understanding regarding many issues that concern the two states and attempts to build a democratic structure in the region. As far as the government is concerned, the relations have been institutionalized and there have been several steps aimed at mutual cooperation," Hashim Thaci, chairman of the Democratic Party of Kosovo [DKP], told our daily, commenting about the cooperation with Djukanovic and the government in Podgorica. He also commented about the current political situation in Kosovo and his interpretation of the way to solve the Kosovo problem.

[Reporter] What do you think about the status of Albanians in Montenegro?

[Hashim Thaci] I appreciate this government's positive steps aimed at improving the position of Albanians in Montenegro, but it is certain that more remains to be done. So far the Albanians in Montenegro proved themselves to be a very constructive factor. Therefore, nobody should fear attempts to give them more rights. Kosovo and Montenegro, as independent states, will have a European status in the future. Djukanovic's government is one of the good examples of respect for minority rights in the region.

[Reporter] Will possible changes of the status of Montenegro as a state affect the state status of Kosovo?

[Thaci] One can clearly see that the union of Serbia and Montenegro has no future. Steps Montenegro is taking towards independence are another argument proving that the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia is a process that should be allowed to run its course. The independent Kosovo and Serbia and Montenegro as independent states should separately integrate themselves into the European Union structures.

[Report] What are your comments regarding announcements that another wave of violence aimed at non-Albanians is being prepared in Kosovo and that members of Al-Qa'idah are deployed there?

[Thaci] I do not want to comment about unfounded speculations launched by those who do not like stability and democratic progress in the country. Waves of violence against non-Albanians have never been prepared in Kosovo and they never will be. We are building reality, understanding, civil and ethnic tolerance in Kosovo.

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