Text of report by "N.M.J." entitled "Stop for Everts" published by the Serbian newspaper Blic on 13 September
The term of office of Maurizio Massari, the head of the OSCE mission in Serbia-Montenegro, runs out this year and Dan Everts, the candidate for the new OSCE ambassador, has not yet received the approval of the authorities in Belgrade to take Massari's place, Blic has learned. The reason is that Everts is allegedly close to Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova.
A source close to the Serbian government has told Blic that Everts "got a 'no'" from the Office of Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica as it has been assessed that he would be "biased on the eve of the upcoming talks on the final status of Kosmet [Kosovo-Metohija]". The source said that the approval for Everts was waiting in a drawer at the Foreign Ministry.
Blic received a confirmation at the Foreign Ministry that Everts is the candidate for the position of head of the OSCE mission but was told that the "procedure is still underway". Blic has learned that Massari's term of office, which was due to end in August, has been extended until January 2006 because of the delay. The OSCE mission declined to make any comment, describing the allegations as speculation.
When he headed the OSCE mission in Kosovo-Metohija, Everts upset the Serb public with his statement that the November 2001 elections [in Kosovo-Metohija] would be the "best this century" and incurred the wrath of Kosovo politicians when he showed up at the election-campaign meeting of Rugova's Democratic League of Kosovo [LDK] on 27 October 2001.
He said there and then that the LDK had "historical significance" and that "Kosovo needs a politician like Rugova". The media in Kosmet reacted strongly and accused Everts of "open political bias". Everts claimed in his defence that he would have said the same thing at a meeting of any other party. Neither did the media fail to note that Everts took the stand at the controversial meeting wearing a scarf identical to the one worn by Rugova. Everts was withdrawn as head of the OSCE mission in Kosovo-Metohija after that.
Source: Blic, Belgrade, in Serbian 13 Sep 05 p 3