Friday, May 06, 2005

Express interview with SRSG Jessen-Petersen

Under the headline “The Last Kaiser”, Express carries a two-page interview with Kosovo chief administrator Søren Jessen-Petersen.

In the introduction to the interview, the paper notes that according to local and international polls, he is considered the most successful SRSG. ‘Both Jessen-Petersen and Kosovars have a common wish: for him to be the last SRSG in Kosovo,’ the paper added.

‘Even though he is the supreme authority in Kosovo, Jessen-Petersen takes pride in his position not to interfere in internal political processes in Kosovo,’ says the paper.

Commenting on the idea for the Kosovo Forum, the UNMIK chief says the forum should serve as a place where party leaders should sit down together and have constructive discussions on capital issues they will face in the next six months.

The SRSG also said that he doesn’t visualize the Forum as a decision-making body. ‘If it were to have a decision-making role, then it would be a parallel structure, a substitution of institutions. This was never my position’ he said.

The UNMIK chief also talked about a recent lunch he had with Kosovo Assembly Speaker Nexhat Daci and said that the latter assured him he would respect the rules of procedures in the Assembly.

‘First of all, the Assembly is the most important institution for dialogue in democracy. Second, since it is the first time we have a government and an opposition, it is very important for the Assembly to serve as an institution where the opposition has all its rights… It is important for everyone to be entitled to voice its opinions through dialogue. The opposition feels it is being denied of this right. I have called for more frequent meetings. I have also called for the debate on decentralization to start earlier. I was told that it will start on May 19.’

Jessen-Petersen confirmed that UNMIK has received the document submitted by PDK, which claims that that senior members of the government are involved in criminal activities. He also added that the document was sent to the police for investigation. ‘This is all I can say. The less these investigations appear in the media the better. I would be concerned if these documents refresh the accusations. I would like for them to be additional information that will assist in the investigations.’

In closing, the paper asked the UNMIK chief to comment on the often-mentioned intelligence services. ‘This issue will be dealt with very seriously in the proposal that will be prepared in the next couple of days regarding the transfer of competencies in the area of security and justice. This is the final answer, for the time being,’ Jessen-Petersen was quoted as saying.

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