Monday, May 08, 2006

"Kosovo Status Determination Will Build Regional Security," Ahtisaari Says in Sofia

Sofia, May 8 (BTA) - "The determination of Kosovo's future status will build security in the region," the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy for Kosovo, Martti Ahtisaari, said after conferring here on Monday with Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ivailo Kalfin.

"There is clear understanding in the international community that when the status of Kosovo is determined, which we hope will happen before the end of this year, this determination will build security in the region," Ahtisaari said. "I hope that whatever the status it will not endanger anybody," he added.

The Special Envoy stressed that it is too early to say what specific status Kosovo will have. "The international community will stay in Kosovo for some more time, the negotiating process is continuing," Ahtisaari said.

"Bulgaria fully supports the efforts of the UN envoy for resolution of the Kosovo question," Kalfin said. Considerable progress has been achieved since Ahtisaari took office. "We expressed support for the approach that has been opted for: to negotiate first on technical matters, such as decentralization, conservation of cultural and religious heritage, and minority rights and then start talks on the status in the far more favourable environment created by the settlement of the other issues," Kalfin said.

He stressed that it is important that the negotiating process should go on without setting a formal deadline for its completion.

"We expect the Serbian Government to be much more insistent that the Serbian minority in Kosovo be actively involved in the political processes, we expect Belgrade to review its current position," the Bulgarian Foreign Minister said. As he put it, the new leaders of the most important institutions in Kosovo should demonstrate that they can assume commitments and implement them in practice.

Kalfin recalled the principles of the Bulgarian position on the status of Kosovo: that the stability of borders should be guaranteed, excluding the possibility that the settlement of the issue would cause problems in neighbouring regions and countries; that conditions be created in Kosovo for real functioning of a multi-ethnic society; and that the dialogue on the status be conducted with the maximum support of both Pristina and Belgrade."

Later on Monday, Ahtisaari conferred with National Assembly Chairman Georgi Pirinski, BTA learnt from the Parliamentary Press Centre. The two discussed the finding of a durable solution to the Kosovo status that would comply with the international human rights standards, democracy and international law and that would contribute to security in the region, as well as Bulgaria's role in this process.

An emphasis was laid on the importance of the constructive dialogue between the Kosovo contact group and the countries of the region, and the role of Bulgaria in regional cooperation received high marks.

"Bulgaria could be useful with its regional experience in the negotiations on Kosovo's future statuts," Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev told Ahtisaari when they conferred here on Monday.

The PM stressed Bulgaria's readiness to share actively in the diplomatic efforts seeking a settlement of the Kosovo question. In his opinion, regardless of the initially irreconcilable positions, both parties should make certain concessions so that practical results could be achieved. The areas of cultural heritage, decentralization and human rights can give an impetus to the further negotiations. "Any solution should have as an objective the stability of both Kosovo and Serbia," Stanishev said, stressing that Bulgaria is directly interested in this process.

The PM confirmed his country's readiness for further useful contacts at various levels. "The idea is to have the voice of the region heard, which would contribute to its stability," he argued. He expects achievement of tangible results during the Finnish Presidency of the EU.

Ahtisaari thanked for Bulgaria's consistent support for the search of a resolution of the Kosovo question, as well as for the emphasis that Stanishev laid in his speech at the SEECP Summit in Thessaloniki on the European prospect of the countries of Southeastern Europe as a component of regional cooperation. The Special Envoy said that the contribution of each country is taken into consideration and that after Bulgaria, he will hold consultations in Moscow and Beijng. Ahtisaari said that he is working closely with the contact group but it is difficult to comply with all conditions to attain the standards set by the international community. One of the principal objectives now is to prevent a division of the international community on the matter of Kosovo before the next phase of the negotiations. In this connection, the guest stressed the importance of the consultations with Bulgaria at this point and commended highly Bulgaria's contribution. ZH, IT/LG


Prepare for Genocide against Serbs said...

Any independent Kosovo will lead to the destruction of Macedonia. That would build regional security. Having war criminal Ceku in charge would be good for regional security?

Anonymous said...

Kosovo consternation
By James "Ace" Lyons Jr.
May 9, 2006

Among the most important priorities of U.S. global policy is combating the international traffic in drugs and in persons (often a euphemism for women and children forced into prostitution).
Because of the linkage and overlap among terrorist networks and organized criminal gangs, the battle against trafficking is also an integral part of the war on terror.
Fighting organized criminal activities is difficult even in countries with a functioning legal system, honest police and the rule of law. Think how much harder that would be when dealing with an independent country where the authorities are an integral part of the criminal enterprise.
Amazingly, that's what the international community seems to want to help establish in the Serbian province of Kosovo. When Kosovo was placed under United Nations administration and NATO military control at the end of the 1999 war, some hoped the province soon would meet at least minimum qualifications for some kind of independence, as demanded by Muslim Albanians who greatly outnumber the remaining Christian Serbs.
That hasn't happened. Instead the drug, sex slave, weapons, money-laundering, and other illicit trades that helped fuel the conflicts of the 1990s have continued to grow. Just this month Marek Antoni Nowicki, Poland's leading human-rights lawyer and the U.N.'s international ombudsman for Kosovo until last year, denounced the "real criminal state in power" in Kosovo, working right under the nose of the U.N. and NATO. "Crime groups have been able to operate with impunity," said Mr. Nowicki. "These networks can rely on the weakness of the public institutions to sanction their operations." Mr. Nowicki's charges came on the heels of a March 2006 report by the U.N.'s internal watchdog agency, the Office of Internal Oversight, which found the head of U.N. Mission -- who holds virtually dictatorial powers -- derelict for ignoring fraud and other abuses at the airport in Kosovo's capital, Pristina.
None of this should come as any surprise. Even in 1999, when the Clinton administration decided to take military action in support of the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), there were numerous and credible intelligence and news reports of the KLA's criminal and terrorist inclinations. Predictably, KLA veterans found even more opportunity to ply their illicit trades when, ostensibly demobilized, they were recruited by the UN into Kosovo's police, civil administration, and quasi-military "Kosovo Protection Corps." The foxes were asked to guard the chicken coop -- another U.N. fiasco.
As described in reports issued by the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, criminal activity in Kosovo continues to be closely tied to operations of the Albanian mafia across Europe, from home bases in Kosovo and adjacent areas of Albania and Macedonia. For example (from 2003): "According to the International Organization for Migration and EUROPOL, the principal supplier countries [i.e., for trafficked women] today are Moldova (up to 80 percent: many Moldovan villages do not have any more women), Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine. The networks used various routes, including the route that passes through Kosovo, Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (see the village of Veledze, the regional centre of prostitution) and Montenegro, then through Italy. The Albanian mafia has set up a real cartel on prostitution. It handles more than 65 percent of the trafficking in women in the Balkans." From 2004: "In Kosovo, as many as 80 percent of internally trafficked victims are children."
The response of international bureaucrats to this disgrace is predictable: ignore it and hope nobody notices. Or even better, pretend all is going well, declare the mission a success -- and hand power over to the criminals as the new sovereign "government."
If that happens, even the minimal interference in the Kosovo-based gangs' operations will be removed. A criminal state not seen since the defunct Taliban regime in Afghanistan will be set up with easy proximity to the rest of Europe.
Such an outcome would make a mockery of some of the United States' most important global security priorities. While the international community desires some sort of "closure" to the ongoing mess in Kosovo (and this is understandable), it is hard to think of a supposed solution worse than independence. Seven years after the 1999 war, this is one Clinton legacy that demands urgent reconsideration.

James "Ace" Lyons Jr. is a retired admiral in the U.S. Navy. He is a former commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet (the largest single military command in the world), senior U.S. military representative to the United Nations and as deputy chief of Naval operations and was principal adviser on all Joint Chiefs of Staff matters.

Anonymous said...

we supported the wrong side Kosovo, clearly.

ilir said...

I am sure that the countries that supported Kosovo in its path to freedom and independence, will not be disappointed at all, but will be surprised how effective and useful their help was. Only those who wanted the complete cleansing of Kosovo of its Albanian population will not be happy with the outcome. Ahtisaari cannot be more right with his statement. And Prime Minister Ceku has been evaluated as one of the best Kosovo has had in its history, and will get the credits very soon in the UN Security Council by the UNSRSG and has the backing of all EU countries and US. Live with it anti-Albanians :)