Thursday, May 18, 2006

Kosovo Albanian and Serb party leaders agree more freedom is needed

Text of report by Kosovo Albanian television KohaVision TV on 17 May

[Announcer] Veton Surroi [Ora reformist party leader and member of Kosovo negotiating team] and Oliver Ivanovic [Kosovo Serb leader] have agreed that the two communities should do more to guarantee freedom of movement. During a visit of Ora reformist party leader Veton Surroi to north Kosova, they discussed the return of Roma community to their properties in Mitrovica

[Reporter Xhemajl Rexha] Veton Surroi has invited Oliver Ivanovic and his colleagues to return to the Kosova Assembly as part of opposition together with him, or as part of the government. In his office in north Mitrovica, the Ora party leader discussed with Oliver Ivanovic the return of properties on both sides of town to Roma community. Ivanovic told him Roma were welcome in the north of the town, adding that the same should happen in the south.

[Veton Surroi, in Serbian] There is an ethnic gap between Serbs and other communities in Kosova and this should change. We cannot live under tension forever. The moment should come and I hope it will come soon when the citizens would have respect, if not love, for one another; for free movement and freedom to choice.

[Oliver Ivanovic] We, Serbs, know best what it means not to have freedom of movement. A lot of work needs to be done in this direction. It can be done through a synchronized positive campaign of [ethnic] Albanians and Serbs; something like this did not exist so far.

[Reporter] Surroi visited also the residents of Mahalla e Boshnjakeve [Bosnian neighbourhood] and a primary school.

Source: KohaVision TV, Pristina, in Albanian 1700 gmt 17 May 06


Kristian said...

Good first step that should of started sooner!

Peace to all!

Dardania 2006 said...

More freedoms are needed, but also us, the Albanians, must show maturity, which we have been showing quite well I must say.

The issue here is, documenting that maturity, so the worlds sees who is ready for Europe.

Bg anon said...

At last something real, not just statements of intent.

The truth is that Surroi still doesnt have much support among Kosovo Albanians but he is one of the few Kosovo Albanian politicians that Serbs can trust - or at least shall we say somebody who they do not distrust?

Surroi isnt a former warlord and you get the feeling that he is an educated and cultured person who is likely to have a real respect for human rights. Again, not somebody who just says things to impress the internationals.

Well done Veton, some Serbs wont want to cooperate and some Albanians might accuse you of treachery but somebody has to stand up and say enough.

JustMe said...

Ahem, Surroi didn't become trustworthy just yesterday! He was consistently promoting human rights, even when it was lifethreatening. One has to understand that this guy doesn't need to impress the international community, he has earned their trust and respect a long time ago.

But what I really want to stress out is that Veton has quite a lot of support among K-Albanians. His party has 7 seats in the assembly but you can clearly see that in every other party, especially in PDK, but also in LDK and AAK, there is a liberal component that sympathises with Veton. I would easely say that his influence stretches quite a bit more then 7%!!!

NYoutlawyer said...

Republic of Srpska Must Join Serbia, Kosovo Must Be Divided, European Expert Says

19 May 2006 | 13:41 | FOCUS News Agency

Skopje. The Republic of Srpska must join Serbia and Kosovo must be divided. This is the opinion of Balkans expert Philip Martinez, Macedonian news agency Makfax reports.
According to Martinez after Rerpublic of Srpska joins Serbia this will “put an end to the unproductive institutional structures in BiH”. The same is the reason that Kosovo must be divided into a Serbian part, which should join Serbia, and into an Albanian part, the expert states.

Works for me.

ivan said...

Even if Republika Srpska doesent join Serbia, the whole situation would be fine if Kosovo was divided into albanian part and Serbian part.

We do have to seperate on an ethnic basis, reconcile whathas happened, and then we all need to prepare ourselfs to enter into EU, where we will unite again.

Otherwise, there will always be tensions in the Balkans.

Bg anon said...

I dont think anybody could accuse Surroi of being inconsistent and I didnt say that he was not trustworthy yesterday either.

But its less important what I think. After all I dont live in Kosovo, its not me that Surroi has to persuade, but at least I know that he does think human rights are important. And I have followed Surroi throughout his career at Koha Dittore and so on so I do know a few things about him.

And justme my point about persuading the internationals is somewhat cynical. When I accuse other politicians of wanting to please the internationals what Im saying is that they dont care about human rights but want a long a happy political career so they say things about human rights that they think internationals like to hear. This is why its vital that there are more civilian, moderate types on the Kosovo Albanian political scene.

Part of the issue for Kosovo Albanian politicians is quite obviously to impress the internationals but more important IMO is what the Kosovo Serb (or non Albanian) communities who live (or want to return) to Kosovo think.

Human rights isnt impressing the internationals its a real desire to respect people who are not members of your ethnic group and are in need of help or assitance.

Im not certain that 7 percent is a lot of support. If you take Pristina out of the equasion ORA might not even get 3 percent.

No, Surroi will never be able to lead on his own. He will need one other Kosovo Albanian party led by Haradinaj or Ceku etc (as his 'beef') and the support of the Kosovo Serb minorities. But the key figure will be the 'beef' and it will not be easy to keep such a coalition together.

The above is a hypothetical scenario based on what could happen in a few years if Kosovo is awarded independence.

Ivan Kosovo's division is still an option but very unlikely. Actually I think that Serbia would be willing to give up territory like Bujanovic in return and somehow I suspect that some Kosovo Albanians would consider such a deal.

The thing is that the internationals have ruled it out.

If Kosovo is divided it would be more likely to happen through these opstinas - which is the reason why Serb and Albanian sides are fighting so hard for them at the moment.

The scenario would be like - independence is declared Serbs from Kosovo pack up and head to declared opstinas in and around N Mitrovica. The Kosovo Serbs refuse to cooperate and refuse to hand over control to central Kosova (at that point) institutions.

The situation could stagnate like that for a long time or for a short time depending on the actors involved and what all sides decide. Then, there would again be the potential for the land swap parts of South West Serbia for parts of North Kosovo.

So whats going to happen. Who knows? It depends on all the actors.

I should say personally Im against ethnic division and land swaps but again I'm not the one who is affected directly by the situation. If Serbs and Albanians decided this was the best way then I would support it. And of course with the provisio that human rights are on the highest level on both sides of the border - and punishable by the very strictest measures.

Serbs In Kosovo are in Danger said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Serbs In Kosovo are in Danger said...

You know that Ceku aims to kill or expel every last Serb from Kosovo. This guy is a joke. He has no power and no influence. Ceku could have an army soon and make them expel Serbs. There will be movement alright-movement of Serbs to refugee camps in Serbia proper.

Bg anon said...

BTW Kosovareport a few more of these types of articles.

Also perhaps you might post discussions on Kosovo by Omer Karabeg on Radio Free Europe. Quite often they have good discussions and Karabeg tends to bring out the best in the guests he calls to dicuss issues - although sometimes the debate is quite bitter as well.

One example here:

Ron said...

bg anon,
I liked your comments.
This is the way people should discuss. Exchange opinions and discuss as civil beings.
Keep up the good work.

Chris Blaku said...

Kosovar politicians would be fools in adopting a softer tone with their Serbian opponents. The Serbians have proven themselves wolves in sheep's clothing countless times before, and any softening of the stance will ignite their wrath as it has historically. Surroi's voice is heard, and his opinions will gain popularity with the Albanian people once our security is guaranteed. The real potential victims in Kosova are not the Serbian minorities, as the Albanians have not been characterized as showing interest in territorial expansion, but the Albanians, who face the prospect of aggression from their neighbors to the north, an expectation that is not without precedent. Serbia has attacked nearly everyone of its neighbors upon their declaration of independence from them, and it is prudent to consider this upon the inevitable exit of foreign troops.

Do not be carried away by the overblown and commonly exaggerated claims of the Serbians, although many of their concerns are warranted. They are experts in melodramatic politics, and only do their people a disservice by crying wolf repeatedly. Do not forget who the butchers of the Balkans are.

Chris Blaku said...

Also, it should be noted that I fully support and respect the rights of Serbian Kosovars. It is unfortunate, however, that they declare their allegiance to Serbia, and not to Kosova. Therefore, repeatedly forcing the Kosovar Government to pander to their interests is an unusual request on the part of the international community. The Serbians deserve their rights, both human and civil, but they should begin to act as citizens of what most agree will become a nation, rather than behave as what most nations would deem, traitors.

Bg anon said...

Chris leave the propoganda behind will you? The war is over you know and the butcher of the Balkans was a Western media reference to Slobodan Milosevic not an entire ethnic group.

Your comment about crying wolf is sounding a little tired too - particularly since you want to maintain that Kosovo Albanians are the real victims TODAY in Kosovo - even after Serb forces have long, long gone with no sign of returning.

As for who Kosovo Serbs as loyal to I agree they look to Belgrade. So its the job of the Kosovo Albanian majority to persuade them otherwise - through goodwill, not accusations and generalisations.

You know you could try taking off your Kosovo Albanian hat for a while, it would make you seem a little more human.

Bg anon said...

BTW that last comment wasnt an insult - I mean in the sense of when one wears a Serbian hat one puts forward a Serbian view and if one puts on a human rights hat (for example) one advances the causes of human rights from whichever group etc etc.

Mir said...

"It is unfortunate, however, that they declare their allegiance to Serbia, and not to Kosova. "

You do realize that Kosovo still belongs to Serbia and that those Serbians are doing the legally correct thing (by not being seditious) in still maintaining their allegiance to the central government?