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Kosova Daily Report #1679, 99-01-31

Kosovo Information Center: Kosova Daily Report Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Kosova Information Center <http://www.kosova.com/>

Kosova Information Center
KOSOVA DAILY REPORT #1679
Prishtina, 31 January 1999


CONTENTS

  • [01] President Rugova Meets with Foreign Secretary Robin Cook
  • [02] NATO Statement on Kosova, January 30th
  • [03] Serbian Forces Shell Podujeva Villages Sunday Afternoon
  • [04] Three Albanians Found Killed in Separate Incidents in Kosova

  • [01] President Rugova Meets with Foreign Secretary Robin Cook

    Rugova expressed his readiness to participate in the political process in pursuit of an interim settlement for Kosova, namely in the negotiations which should be conducted in Rambouillet, France

    PRISHTINA, Jan 31 (KIC) - The President of the Republic of Kosova Dr. Ibrahim Rugova met Saturday evening in Shkup, FYROM, with the British Foreign Secretary, Mr. Robin Cook, who represented the six- nation Contact Group in a diplomatic mission in the Balkans.

    Participating in the meeting were also the U.S. mediator for Kosova, Ambassador Chris Hill, and the EU envoy for Kosova, Austria's ambassador to Belgrade, Wolfgang Petritsch.

    The Rugova-Cook meeting was held in Shkup, instead of in Prishtina as planned, because of the bad weather prevailing in Kosova and the closure of the Prishtina airport.

    Minister Cook briefed President Rugova on the conclusions of the Contact Group on Kosova, which met Friday in London, and delivered him the paper containing the basic elements of an interim settlement for Kosova, which should be concluded in negotiations to be held soon in Rambouillet of France.

    President Ibrahim Rugova said he appreciated the significance of the Contact Group meeting in London and expressed his readiness to participate in the political process in pursuit of an interim settlement for Kosova, namely in the negotiations which should be conducted in Rambouillet, President Rugova's office said.

    [02] NATO Statement on Kosova, January 30th

    PRISHTINA, Jan 31 (KIC) - Following is the text of a statement the North Atlantic Council (NAC) adopted Saturday in Brussels.

    (Begin text) NATO reaffirms the demands set out in its statement of 28th January 1999. It stands ready to act and rules out no option to ensure full respect by both sides in Kosovo for the requirements of the international community, and observance of all relevant Security Council Resolutions, in particular the provisions of Resolutions 1160, 1199 and 1203.

    NATO gives full support to the Contact Group strategy of negotiations on an interim political settlement which are to be completed within the specified timeframe. It welcomes the Presidential Statement of the United Nations Security Council of 29th January 1999.

    NATO recalls that those responsible for the massacre at Racak must be brought to justice and that the FRY authorities must cooperate fully with ICTY. They must also cooperate fully with the OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission and ensure the security of its personnel.

    The crisis in Kosovo remains a threat to peace and security in the region. NATO's strategy is to halt the violence and support the completion of negotiations on an interim political settlement for Kosovo, thus averting a humanitarian catastrophe. Steps to this end must include acceptance by both parties of the summons to begin negotiations at Rambouillet by 6 February 1999 and the completion of the negotiations on an interim political settlement within the specified timeframe; full and immediate observance by both parties of the cease-fire and by the FRY authorities of their commitments to NATO, including by bringing VJ and Police/Special Police force levels, force posture and activities into strict compliance with the NATO/FRY agreement of 25 October 1998; and the ending of excessive and disproportionate use of force in accordance with these commitments.

    If these steps are not taken, NATO is ready to take whatever measures are necessary in the light of both parties' compliance with international commitments and requirements, including in particular assessment by the Contact Group of the response to its demands, to avert a humanitarian catastrophe, by compelling compliance with the demands of the international community and the achievement of a political settlement. The Council has therefore agreed today that the NATO Secretary General may authorise air strikes against targets on FRY territory. The NATO Secretary General will take full account of the position and actions of the Kosovar leadership and all Kosovar armed elements in and around Kosovo in reaching his decision on military action. NATO will take all appropriate measures in case of a failure by the Kosovar Albanian side to comply with the demands of the international community.

    NATO is also studying how to support measures to curb arms smuggling into Kosovo.

    NATO's decisions today contribute to creating the conditions for a rapid and successful negotiation on an interim political settlement which provides for an enhanced status for Kosovo, preserves the territorial integrity of the FRY and protects the rights of all ethnic groups. NATO is resolved to persevere until the violence in Kosovo has ended, and a political solution has been reached.

    (End text)

    [03] Serbian Forces Shell Podujeva Villages Sunday Afternoon

    PRISHTINA, Jan 31 (KIC) - Serbian military and paramilitary police troops launched an attack today (Sunday) at 14:00 CET against the villages of Majanc and Godishnjak and other outlying villages on the west side of the Prishtina-Podujeva highway, local sources said.

    LDK sources in the town of Podujeva, 30 km north of capital Prishtina, said the villages were being shelled, but did not specify the kind of weapons being used in the assault.

    There has bee no immediate word on casualties or other consequences.

    Serbian military troops and tanks have been massed in northern Kosova, along the Prishtina-Podujeva highway, for several weeks now. Four Serb offensives have been launched in the Podujeva villages since Christmas, leaving scores of Albanians killed and wounded, and tens of thousands of people displaced.

    A dozen villages have been evacuated by the Albanian population in the last week alone. Schools have been closed in the villages, as well as the town of Podujeva itself, home to around 20,000 people.

    Serbian tanks and other heavy weaponry have taken up positions on the hills overlooking the highway, with barrels aimed at the villages and the U^K (Kosova Liberation Army) positions on the western side of the Podujeva municipality.

    Local Albanian structures in Podujeva have called on the international community to prevent further Serb military aggression as well as a looming humanitarian catastrophe in the 99 percent Albanian-inhabited region in northeast Kosova.

    [04] Three Albanians Found Killed in Separate Incidents in Kosova

    PRISHTINA, Jan 31 (KIC) - Emin F. Basha (36), an Albanian resident of the town of Peja ('Pec'), was found killed today (Sunday) in the village of Ramun, seven km from Peja, western Kosova.

    LDK sources in Peja said Mr. Basha, who was last seen last evening in a bakery half a kilometre away from his home, had been shot thrice in the head.

    This past month, seven Albanians have been killed in the Peja municipality in unsolved circumstances, but in a similar manner.

    Meanwhile, Shyqri Bela (26), a night watch with the "Jehona" construction material warehouse near Ka^anik, southeast of Kosova, was found dead today morning near his work-place. Bela, resident of Bi^ec village, was on duty last night in his firm, LDK sources said, but failed to offer other details surrounding his death.

    The body of Gasper Kara^i (1961), resident of Ujz village, was found Sunday in the woods of Bishtazhin village of Gjakova. He had been killed Saturday by Serb police together with two other Albanians, the LDK chapter in Gjakova said.

    Mr. Kara^i, who is to be buried Monday, was a schoolteacher with the grammar school "Gjergj Fishta" in Bishtazhin.

    Kosova Information Center

    Kosovo Information Center: Kosova Daily Report Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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