Thursday, March 31, 2005

Kfor rejects Serbian president's request for meeting of army chiefs

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Excerpt from report by Kosovo Albanian television KohaVision TV on 30 March

[Announcer] There will be no special meeting between the Kfor [NATO-led Kosovo Force] commander and the chief of the Serbia-Montenegro Army, a Kfor spokesman said in reply to Serbian President Boris Tadic's request for an urgent meeting to obtain an explanation for the Kosovo Protection Corps [TMK] exercise in Vushtrri [Vucitern], which he regarded as unacceptable.

[Reporter] The request by Serbian President Boris Tadic for an urgent and special meeting between the Serbia-Montenegro Army chief and Kfor commander will not be met. Kfor spokesperson Col Yves Kermorvant said there was no reason for a special meeting with the Serbia-Montenegro army officials. The answer was very short and clear.

[Col Yves Kermorvant speaking in English throughout with superimposed Albanian translation] Meeting? No! There is no reason for a special meeting between Kfor Commander Yves de Kermabon and the commander of the Serbia-Montenegro Army. The TMK is a civilian, emergency organization. It has no weapons, and it is not a force engaged in military training.

[Reporter] The statement by the Kfor spokesperson follows a request from Serbian President Boris Tadic who, during the UNMIK [United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo] chief's visit to Belgrade on Monday [28 March], had requested an urgent meeting of the Kfor commander and Serbia-Montenegro Army chief. Tadic had declared that such a meeting should be held as soon as possible in order to present Belgrade's dissatisfaction with the TMK training that began several days ago in Vushtrri. On this occasion he said that the TMK training was totally unacceptable. He even said that it posed a threat to the security of the region. Kfor officials have a diametrically opposed opinion.

[Col Yves Kermorvant] The situation is calm and stable.

[Passage omitted]

Source: KohaVision TV, Pristina, in Albanian 1700 gmt 30 Mar 05

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