Monday, May 02, 2005

Kosovo Serb leader says faction to end boycott of Assembly - daily

Excerpt from report by S. Ahmeti entitled "Ivanovic: Participation in institutions without concessions" published by the Kosovo Albanian newspaper Kosova Sot on 2 May

Representatives of the Serb List for Kosova [Kosovo] have decided to end their boycott of Kosova institutions. The breaking of the ice is expected to happen at the next session of the Assembly, at which the decentralization issue will be debated.

"Even in the past we did not put forward conditions for our participation in the institutions. As time went by, we realized that with our participation in the institutions we can still achieve something positive for our community," Serb List for Kosova leader Oliver Ivanovic told Kosova Sot on Sunday [ 1 May].

He said it is possible the Serb deputies will be present in the Assembly's next session to participate in the debate on decentralization. "I would like to start participating in the next session of the Assembly, precisely on the day when there will be debate on decentralization, because we have a lot to say. This is not a topic that concerns only Serbs, but is something that is needed for current developments, and we hope it is for the good of all Kosova citizens, for Serbs and Albanians, because decentralization of power brings about new local institutions that can be functional and in the interest of all citizens," Ivanovic said.

According to the Serb deputy, the approach of the time for resolving Kosova's status is an additional motive that made supporters of his political entity give the green light to participation in the institutions. "We have concluded that this is precisely the time when we should participate in the institutions. The conditions are being gradually created, and, objectively, this is imperative at a time when important topics such as status are being raised. So we have to be in the institutions because only in this way can we play an active role and exercise our responsibility," Ivanovic said.

He explained that the reason why the participation of his political entity in the institutions was delayed until now had to do with the absence of moral and political support from Kosova Serb citizens and institutional support from Belgrade.

The Kosova Serb List leader noted that the willingness of his entity to end the boycott should in no way be perceived as a result of a positive assessment of the standards [for Kosovo] implementation, and in particular the standard related to democratic functioning of the institutions, because, in his view, there remains a lot to be done before a positive assessment can be made.

"We will join the institutions very soon, but this should not be misused by those who are making the technical assessment of the standards implementation, even though such a risk exists," Ivanovic said. [Passage omitted]

Source: Kosova Sot, Pristina, in Albanian 2 May 05 p 4

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