Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Azem Vlasi denies Kosova's claim to Albanian land in Montenegro

Agim Ceku’s political advisor, Azem Vlasi, recently made a thoughtless assertion that Kosova has “no territorial claims at all to Montenegro,” thus refuting the historic and geographic claim Albanians maintain in Malësia, Ulqini, Plava & Gucia, Kraja, and Ana e Malit – dating back to Illyrian eons.

Republika: Kosovo has no territorial claims to Montenegro
PRISHTINA, KOSOVA, February 11, 2007 – “Independent Kosovo has no territorial claims at all to Montenegro”, Azem Vlasi, advisor of Kosovo’s Prime Minister Agim Ceku on the relations with Montenegro, Macedonia and Serbia told the Montenegrin newspaper Republika. Kosovo’s institutions and all major political parties have already stated clearly that they have no territorial claims to any of the neighboring states and that they recognize the current borders of Montenegro, Azem Vlasi said. He explained that there were no opened issued between Kosovo and Montenegro and their future relations should be all-round and friendly.
Source: Focus News Agency

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Comprehensive Proposal for the Kosova Status Settlement

The link below contains the full and unabridged version of Martin Ahtisaari's Final Settlement Proposal for Kosova.

Following the Proposal you can click on links to reference documentation provided by the United Nations Office of the Special Envoy for Kosovo (UNOSEK).

Ahtasaari's Comprehensive Proposal:

Executive Summary:

Constitutional Provisions:

Human Rights and Fundamental FreedomsAnd the Rights of Communities and their Members:


Religious and Cultural Heritage:

Economic and Property Issues:

The Justice System:

Security Sector:

The International Presence:

Transitional Arrangement:

Refernce Documents:

Friday, February 02, 2007


Fri Feb 2, 2007
By Ellie Tzortzi

BELGRADE (Reuters) - United Nations special envoy Martti Ahtisaari on Friday avoided any pronouncement on the future sovereignty of Kosovo, but handed Serbia a plan that sets its breakaway province firmly on a path to independence.

As diplomats had long suggested, Ahtisaari gave Serbian President Boris Tadic a proposal that did not mention the word 'independence' or address the loss of Serbia's sovereignty.

But it allows Kosovo to access international bodies normally reserved for sovereign states and gives it the right to raise its own flag, with its own national anthem and other symbols.

"The settlement provides for an international representative to supervise the implementation," Ahtisaari told a news conference. The NATO-led peace force "will continue to provide a safe and secure environment ... as long as necessary."

The settlement includes measures to "promote sustainable economic development including Kosovo's ability to apply for membership in international financial institutions", he added.

Ahtisaari declined several opportunities to address the issue of Kosovo's ultimate status, saying this would be settled by the United Nations Security Council once he formally presents his plan, following a last round of consultations.

The envoy said the diametrically opposed positions of the Serbs and Kosovo Albanians were "extremely fixed", but he was allowing them one more chance to find compromise in talks this month on the future status of the territory.

Invitations would be sent for a meeting in Vienna on February 13 and it would be up to Serbs and leaders of Kosovo's 90 percent ethnic Albanian majority to decide whether to turn up.

The former Finnish president mediated months of largely fruitless talks in 2006 in search of a compromise. Maybe they have had enough, he said. "I can't force anyone to participate."

There was also no point in waiting for a new government to be formed following Serbia's inconclusive election last month, he said. "Whether it's now or a little bit later, the same people would be on either side of the table."

"The final process starts when the plan enters the Security Council," Ahtisaari said, indicating that could be next month.

The European Union urged both sides to respond "positively and constructively" to Ahtisaari's proposals.


Ahtisaari was to present his plan later on Friday in Kosovo's capital Pristina, where newspapers already celebrated what one called a "whiff of statehood" in the air.

The daily Express said he was "bringing Kosovo the right to self-determination", and in Belgrade Serb newspapers agreed.

"The word independence is not mentioned, but a plan written like this leaves no room for uncertainty," wrote Vecernje Novosti.

Kosovo has been run by the U.N. since 1999 when 11 weeks of bombing by NATO forced the late Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic to withdraw his forces, accused of killing 10,000 Albanians during a counter-insurgency war.

Some 100,000 ethnic Serbs remain in the province, half of them in the northern part that borders Serbia. Some predict violence and secession or partition, and both NATO and the U.N. mission have made contingency plans for a crisis.

"There is nothing more we can do," said Kosovo Serb accountant Milica Knezevic, "there's no life for us here."

"The deal is done, we are being fooled," said pensioner Dusan Obradovic.
Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica, who has condemned Ahtisaari for "anti-Serb bias", has taken the lead in rejecting his plan in advance and refused to meet the envoy on Friday.

The poor, landlocked province of two million is cherished by Serbia for its heritage as the medieval homeland of the nation.

President Tadic has told Serbs Kosovo might already be lost.

But Kostunica says he will never accept this and is urging all parties in the next government to solemnly pledge that Serbia will cut ties with any country recognizing the province as an independent state, including all major Western powers.

(Additional reporting by Beti Bilandzic, Monika Lajhner, Ivana Sekularac in Belgrade and Matt Robinson in Pristina)
Reuters News Service:
Financial Times:
The New York Times:

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Prayers and Protests: Albanians Demand and get Attention in Washington

WASHINGTON, DC, February 1, 2007 – As guests to this years’ National Prayer Breakfast filed out of the Hilton Hotel and towards their motorcades, they were greeted with the stars and stripes flying alongside double-headed eagles representing the Albanian spirit, their cause and their steadfast mission to update the international community on the apartheid-like political system operating in Montenegro.

As dignitaries from around the globe bowed their heads in prayer this morning, approximately 500-600 Albanian-Americans throughout the Midwest and eastern seaboard traveled throughout the night – from places like Detroit, Chicago, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts – and congregated on Connecticut Avenue to request those inside to say a prayer for all the Albanians in Montenegro that are being victimized, brutalized and terrorized in their own homeland by a government that has been officially singled out as corruptive, fraudulent and violent to its minorities.

This morning’s demonstration, led by the Albanian-American Association “Malësia e Madhe” of Detroit, centered on the same theme as last year: basic human rights for Albanians in Montenegro, in the realm of social, economic, political and civic privileges, which have been denied by the majority Slavic government. This years’ rally also included appeals for the international community to be responsive of the injustices and corruptive nature of Montenegro’s judicial and police system that is brutalizing and torturing Albanian political prisoners for superfluous charges of “terrorism.”

The cries successfully caught the attention of numerous public figures, most notably the U.S. Senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, who acknowledged the efforts of the demonstrators by giving a thumbs up and exclaiming, “keep up the good work.” A representative from the U.S. Department of State made his way to the rally, made several inquiries and carefully took notes that he promised would be prioritized and presented to State Department personnel handling Easter-European affairs. Other representatives, like the Congressman from Kentucky, leisurely walked over and listened to people in the crowd, asking questions here and there, and reading the Press Release that was distributed to everyone who filed out of the hotel.

As the rally came to a close, and hundreds of voices became hoarse, the spirit and the strength of Albanians swelled to the thought that perhaps, for at least a brief moment today, there were people who listened to the cries of mothers and fathers, brothers, sisters and friends of those unfortunate souls in Montenegro who have been deserted by a government that is supposed to protect their lives, liberties, and pursuits of happiness – elements that founded this nation and has laid the blueprint for others to follow. Unfortunately, Montenegro’s plans do not coincide with this blueprint; they have ignored these elements just as they ignored the invitation to attend this exclusive gathering. Montenegro’s long road ahead will be beleaguered with speed bumps along the way, reminding them to slow down and not run over the spirit and lives of Albanians and their ancient homeland.