Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Pavle-Haraqija Committee holds inaugural meeting

The Committee for the Implementation of the Memorandum for the Reconstruction of Orthodox Churches destroyed in March 2004 has met for the first time on Monday in Prishtina in the offices of the Council of Europe, Koha Ditore reports.

The inaugural meeting of the committee marks the formal start of the process for the reconstruction of religious sites as foreseen by the document signed on 24 March 2005 by Kosovar Minister of Culture Astrit Haraqija and the head of the Kosovo Orthodox Church Bishop Pavle.

The paper quotes unnamed sources as saying that Minister Haraqija reconfirmed the commitment of the Kosovo Government to allocate an additional €1.5 million to the existing funds of €4.2 million allocated for the reconstruction of churches.

According to the paper, additional funds are expected to be secured at the UNESCO-organized Donors Conference which will be held in Paris on May 13th.

Koha Ditore notes that UNMIK chief Søren Jessen-Petersen has welcomed the inaugural meeting. ‘This is a very positive sign that the process is now moving forward and it opens the way for the actual reconstruction work to start soon,’ said the SRSG.

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