Sunday, September 25, 2005

Belgrade, Pristina entrenched over Kosovo independence as talks loom

BELGRADE, Sept 25 (AFP) -

As preparations for the long-awaited talks on Kosovo's future status gather momentum, the chances of a breakthrough compromise between Belgrade and Pristina seem as distant as ever.

Kosovo, which is still technically part of Serbia, has been administered by the United Nations since former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic's attempt to crush separatism was ended in June 1999 after a NATO bombing campaign.

The key issue in the negotiations expected to start within weeks, more than six years after the Kosovo war ended, is whether or not the Serbian province should be allowed to become independent.

Pristina says it is not even willing to discuss the subject with Belgrade, which remains vehemently opposed to any form of independence.

"Unfortunately, by still insisting only on independence, the Kosovo Albanians have not moved from the trenches from the period before 1999," Serbia-Montenegro Foreign Minister Vuk Draskovic told a session of the UN General Assembly this week.

His comments came after the Serbian government revealed for the first time a detailed explanation of its offer to Pristina of "more than autonomy, less than independence".

The Belgrade policy was to allow the Albanian side in the troubled province to have "executive, legal and legislative power" while remaining within Serbia's boundaries, its new Kosovo envoy Sanda Raskovic-Ivic said.

The recently appointed chair of Serbia's Coordination Centre for Kosovo said Belgrade's "compromise" included making Kosovo a demilitarised zone in order to prevent the formation of paramilitary units and deny Serbian forces any presence.

Kosovo's political leaders responded by flatly rejecting the proposals.

"The establishment of the state of Kosovo is an issue which is non-negotiable with Serbia," said the province's Prime Minister Bajram Kosumi.

"We will negotiate with Serbia agreements on many issues of common interest such as the cultural and religious heritage of Kosovo Serbs, guarantees for the minorities in Kosovo and refugees.

"(However) we can negotiate about the future status of Kosovo only with the international community," Kosumi said.

"The international community should not waste its time and money in finding a solution that does not match with Kosovars," said Nexhat Daci, Kosovo's parliamentary speaker.

The talks on Kosovo's future status cannot start until after UN special envoy Kai Eide presents UN Secretary General Kofi Annan a report on whether the province has met a series of international democratic standards.

They are expected to be held in the form of shuttle diplomacy between Belgrade and Pristina starting in November and are likely to be mediated by delegates headed by former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari, according to Serbia-Montenegro's human rights minister, Rasim Ljajic.

A source in Belgrade close to the international community told AFP this week that it seemed clear from the preparations for the talks that the negotiations were likely to lead to "conditional independence".

"That means internal and foreign affairs transferred to Kosovo's government and everything else meaning practical independence, but without any international recognition," said the source, who wished to remain unnamed.

All powers would be transferred to Pristina but Kosovo would remain a "protectorate" of the European Union concerning human and minority rights for several years, after which the province's status would be reviewed again.

The negotiations are expected to last for several months.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

The world must read U.N. Resolution 1244. Stop saying that Kosovo is technicaly part of Serbia... it is not (technically, theoretically or any way you look at it).

Here's the full text of resolution below. Is Serbia mentioned anywhere???

Resolution 1244 (1999)
Adopted by the Security Council at its 4011th meeting,
on 10 June 1999
The Security Council,

Bearing in mind the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and the primary responsibility of the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security,

Recalling its resolutions 1160 (1998) of 31 March 1998, 1199 (1998) of 23 September 1998, 1203 (1998) of 24 October 1998 and 1239 (1999) of 14 May 1999,

Regretting that there has not been full compliance with the requirements of these resolutions,

Determined to resolve the grave humanitarian situation in Kosovo, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and to provide for the safe and free return of all refugees and displaced persons to their homes,

Condemning all acts of violence against the Kosovo population as well as all terrorist acts by any party,

Recalling the statement made by the Secretary-General on 9 April 1999, expressing concern at the humanitarian tragedy taking place in Kosovo,

Reaffirming the right of all refugees and displaced persons to return to their homes in safety,

Recalling the jurisdiction and the mandate of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia,

Welcoming the general principles on a political solution to the Kosovo crisis adopted on 6 May 1999 (S/1999/516, annex 1 to this resolution) and welcoming also the acceptance by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia of the principles set forth in points 1 to 9 of the paper presented in Belgrade on 2 June 1999 (S/1999/649, annex 2 to this resolution), and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's agreement to that paper,

Reaffirming the commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the other States of the region, as set out in the Helsinki Final Act and annex 2,

Reaffirming the call in previous resolutions for substantial autonomy and meaningful self-administration for Kosovo,

Determining that the situation in the region continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security,

Determined to ensure the safety and security of international personnel and the implementation by all concerned of their responsibilities under the present resolution, and acting for these purposes under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,


Decides that a political solution to the Kosovo crisis shall be based on the general principles in annex 1 and as further elaborated in the principles and other required elements in annex 2;

Welcomes the acceptance by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia of the principles and other required elements referred to in paragraph 1 above, and demands the full cooperation of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in their rapid implementation;

Demands in particular that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia put an immediate and verifiable end to violence and repression in Kosovo, and begin and complete verifiable phased withdrawal from Kosovo of all military, police and paramilitary forces according to a rapid timetable, with which the deployment of the international security presence in Kosovo will be synchronized;

Confirms that after the withdrawal an agreed number of Yugoslav and Serb military and police personnel will be permitted to return to Kosovo to perform the functions in accordance with annex 2;

Decides on the deployment in Kosovo, under United Nations auspices, of international civil and security presences, with appropriate equipment and personnel as required, and welcomes the agreement of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to such presences;

Requests the Secretary-General to appoint, in consultation with the Security Council, a Special Representative to control the implementation of the international civil presence, and further requests the Secretary-General to instruct his Special Representative to coordinate closely with the international security presence to ensure that both presences operate towards the same goals and in a mutually supportive manner;

Authorizes Member States and relevant international organizations to establish the international security presence in Kosovo as set out in point 4 of annex 2 with all necessary means to fulfil its responsibilities under paragraph 9 below;

Affirms the need for the rapid early deployment of effective international civil and security presences to Kosovo, and demands that the parties cooperate fully in their deployment;

Decides that the responsibilities of the international security presence to be deployed and acting in Kosovo will include:

Deterring renewed hostilities, maintaining and where necessary enforcing a ceasefire, and ensuring the withdrawal and preventing the return into Kosovo of Federal and Republic military, police and paramilitary forces, except as provided in point 6 of annex 2;

Demilitarizing the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and other armed Kosovo Albanian groups as required in paragraph 15 below;

Establishing a secure environment in which refugees and displaced persons can return home in safety, the international civil presence can operate, a transitional administration can be established, and humanitarian aid can be delivered;

Ensuring public safety and order until the international civil presence can take responsibility for this task;

Supervising demining until the international civil presence can, as appropriate, take over responsibility for this task;

Supporting, as appropriate, and coordinating closely with the work of the international civil presence;

Conducting border monitoring duties as required;

Ensuring the protection and freedom of movement of itself, the international civil presence, and other international organizations;

Authorizes the Secretary-General, with the assistance of relevant international organizations, to establish an international civil presence in Kosovo in order to provide an interim administration for Kosovo under which the people of Kosovo can enjoy substantial autonomy within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and which will provide transitional administration while establishing and overseeing the development of provisional democratic self-governing institutions to ensure conditions for a peaceful and normal life for all inhabitants of Kosovo;

Decides that the main responsibilities of the international civil presence will include:

Promoting the establishment, pending a final settlement, of substantial autonomy and self-government in Kosovo, taking full account of annex 2 and of the Rambouillet accords (S/1999/648);

Performing basic civilian administrative functions where and as long as required;

Organizing and overseeing the development of provisional institutions for democratic and autonomous self-government pending a political settlement, including the holding of elections;

Transferring, as these institutions are established, its administrative responsibilities while overseeing and supporting the consolidation of Kosovo's local provisional institutions and other peace-building activities;

Facilitating a political process designed to determine Kosovo's future status, taking into account the Rambouillet accords (S/1999/648);

In a final stage, overseeing the transfer of authority from Kosovo's provisional institutions to institutions established under a political settlement;

Supporting the reconstruction of key infrastructure and other economic reconstruction;

Supporting, in coordination with international humanitarian organizations, humanitarian and disaster relief aid;

Maintaining civil law and order, including establishing local police forces and meanwhile through the deployment of international police personnel to serve in Kosovo;

Protecting and promoting human rights;

Assuring the safe and unimpeded return of all refugees and displaced persons to their homes in Kosovo;

Emphasizes the need for coordinated humanitarian relief operations, and for the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to allow unimpeded access to Kosovo by humanitarian aid organizations and to cooperate with such organizations so as to ensure the fast and effective delivery of international aid;

Encourages all Member States and international organizations to contribute to economic and social reconstruction as well as to the safe return of refugees and displaced persons, and emphasizes in this context the importance of convening an international donors' conference, particularly for the purposes set out in paragraph 11 (g) above, at the earliest possible date;

Demands full cooperation by all concerned, including the international security presence, with the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia;

Demands that the KLA and other armed Kosovo Albanian groups end immediately all offensive actions and comply with the requirements for demilitarization as laid down by the head of the international security presence in consultation with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General;

Decides that the prohibitions imposed by paragraph 8 of resolution 1160 (1998) shall not apply to arms and related matériel for the use of the international civil and security presences;

Welcomes the work in hand in the European Union and other international organizations to develop a comprehensive approach to the economic development and stabilization of the region affected by the Kosovo crisis, including the implementation of a Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe with broad international participation in order to further the promotion of democracy, economic prosperity, stability and regional cooperation;

Demands that all States in the region cooperate fully in the implementation of all aspects of this resolution;

Decides that the international civil and security presences are established for an initial period of 12 months, to continue thereafter unless the Security Council decides otherwise;

Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council at regular intervals on the implementation of this resolution, including reports from the leaderships of the international civil and security presences, the first reports to be submitted within 30 days of the adoption of this resolution;

Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.
Annex 1
Statement by the Chairman
on the conclusion of the meeting of the G-8 Foreign Ministers
held at the Petersberg Centre on 6 May 1999
The G-8 Foreign Ministers adopted the following general principles on the political solution to the Kosovo crisis:

Immediate and verifiable end of violence and repression in Kosovo;

Withdrawal from Kosovo of military, police and paramilitary forces;

Deployment in Kosovo of effective international civil and security presences, endorsed and adopted by the United Nations, capable of guaranteeing the achievement of the common objectives;

Establishment of an interim administration for Kosovo to be decided by the Security Council of the United Nations to ensure conditions for a peaceful and normal life for all inhabitants in Kosovo;

The safe and free return of all refugees and displaced persons and unimpeded access to Kosovo by humanitarian aid organizations;

A political process towards the establishment of an interim political framework agreement providing for a substantial self-government for Kosovo, taking full account of the Rambouillet accords and the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the other countries of the region, and the demilitarization of the KLA;

Comprehensive approach to the economic development and stabilization of the crisis region.
Annex 2
Agreement should be reached on the following principles to move towards a resolution of the Kosovo crisis:

An immediate and verifiable end of violence and repression in Kosovo.
Verifiable withdrawal from Kosovo of all military, police and paramilitary forces according to a rapid timetable.

Deployment in Kosovo under United Nations auspices of effective international civil and security presences, acting as may be decided under Chapter VII of the Charter, capable of guaranteeing the achievement of common objectives.

The international security presence with substantial North Atlantic Treaty Organization participation must be deployed under unified command and control and authorized to establish a safe environment for all people in Kosovo and to facilitate the safe return to their homes of all displaced persons and refugees.

Establishment of an interim administration for Kosovo as a part of the international civil presence under which the people of Kosovo can enjoy substantial autonomy within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, to be decided by the Security Council of the United Nations. The interim administration to provide transitional administration while establishing and overseeing the development of provisional democratic self-governing institutions to ensure conditions for a peaceful and normal life for all inhabitants in Kosovo.

After withdrawal, an agreed number of Yugoslav and Serbian personnel will be permitted to return to perform the following functions:

Liaison with the international civil mission and the international security presence;
Marking/clearing minefields;
Maintaining a presence at Serb patrimonial sites;
Maintaining a presence at key border crossings.

Safe and free return of all refugees and displaced persons under the supervision of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and unimpeded access to Kosovo by humanitarian aid organizations.

A political process towards the establishment of an interim political framework agreement providing for substantial self-government for Kosovo, taking full account of the Rambouillet accords and the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the other countries of the region, and the demilitarization of UCK. Negotiations between the parties for a settlement should not delay or disrupt the establishment of democratic self-governing institutions.

A comprehensive approach to the economic development and stabilization of the crisis region. This will include the implementation of a stability pact for South-Eastern Europe with broad international participation in order to further promotion of democracy, economic prosperity, stability and regional cooperation.

Suspension of military activity will require acceptance of the principles set forth above in addition to agreement to other, previously identified, required elements, which are specified in the footnote below.(1) A military-technical agreement will then be rapidly concluded that would, among other things, specify additional modalities, including the roles and functions of Yugoslav/Serb personnel in Kosovo:
Withdrawal


Procedures for withdrawals, including the phased, detailed schedule and delineation of a buffer area in Serbia beyond which forces will be withdrawn;
Returning personnel


Equipment associated with returning personnel;
Terms of reference for their functional responsibilities;
Timetable for their return;
Delineation of their geographical areas of operation;
Rules governing their relationship to the international security presence and the international civil mission.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notes
Other required elements:

A rapid and precise timetable for withdrawals, meaning, e.g., seven days to complete withdrawal and air defence weapons withdrawn outside a 25 kilometre mutual safety zone within 48 hours;

Return of personnel for the four functions specified above will be under the supervision of the international security presence and will be limited to a small agreed number (hundreds, not thousands);

Suspension of military activity will occur after the beginning of verifiable withdrawals;

The discussion and achievement of a military-technical agreement shall not extend the previously determined time for completion of withdrawals.

WARchild said...

According to 1244, it's not part of Serbia but Yugoslavia. Even Tadic himself acknowleged this "technicality" during his recent trip to the UN. Since Yugoslavia doesn't exist anymore, and in February not even S&M will exist, Kosovo could go its own way.
Kosovo doesn't own anything to Serbia, it's just the way around. I hope lawyers are standing by. However, I like the EU-protectorate proposal because Kosovo morally ows it to its liberators to respect the human rights (along EC lines) of those minorities that want to live in the new state of Kosovo. This will also pave the way for Kosovo to join European Union when that opportunity comes along.

Anonymous said...

When Serbia & Montenegro emerged from Yugoslavia, Kosovo and Metohija was included in the deal according to the UN, NATO, US, EU.

Anonymous said...

Poor creatures don't understand the rights of successor states...how very sad. Look it up and elucidate yourselves. It is written in international law...oh wait, you don't follow international laws...you follow the kanun of lek....

Anonymous said...

What succesor states are u talking about. If your own brethen in Montenegro cant stand being with you what do you expect from others.

Nothing is mentioned in the resolution about succesor states. Serbs like pulling things out of their a$$e$