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Ivo Skoric: Extrodinary Statement by Albanian/Serb leaders 7/2/99

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Date: Wed, 7 Jul 1999 00:31:06 -0400
Subject: (Fwd) Extrodinary Statement by Albanian/Serb leaders 7/2/99
To: nettime <>

At the end please note that this statement is signed both by UCK (KLA) and
something called Serbian Resistance Movement. This really begins to look
like Ulster there. 


------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Date sent:      	Mon, 5 Jul 1999 20:33:24 EDT


In Pristina, the UN Secretary-Generalís acting Special Representative,
Sergio Vieira de Mello, called together leaders of the Albanian and
Serbian communities to focus exclusively on the pressing issue of security
for all people in Kosovo. This is the first time that Albanian and Serb
leaders of Kosovo have sat down to discuss concrete issues. They issued a
joint statement calling for restraint and respect for human life, which
was broadcast on radio and television by the United Nations mission in

The text of the statement is as follows: 

Today, we have met at the headquarters of the UN Mission in Kosovo to
urgently address a problem that affects all the people of Kosovo: people
who want to return to their homes here, people who want to stay here,
people who have returned in the past few weeks, people who have remained
here throughout recent tragic months. 

We have met to discuss security and human rights; in order for the human
rights of all people to be exercised they must be free of fear. They must
feel safe staying in their homes, going to their jobs, going to their
places of worship, visiting friends and family, taking their exams at
university, and going about all the other tasks of everyday life. 

We know that we have to urgently address this problem if we want to
realise our joint goal of a civil society in Kosovo, a society where no
one has to have fear for his lie, his family, his job, or his home just
because of his ethnicity or belief. We are determined not to look back but
to look forward.  In this respect we reach out to all national communities
living in Kosovo. In particular, we want to stop the exodus of Serb,
Montenegrin and other civilians from Kosovo and encourage the return of
those who have already left. 

We have a rich common heritage. We want to preserve it. We therefore call
on everyone: stay in and come back to Kosovo. KFOR and UNMIK have promised
us that they would do their utmost to secure your safety and to guarantee
your future in your homeland. We trust them and we urge you to do

Both sides condemn the crimes of the Milosevic regime in Kosovo. 

Persons suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity shall be
brought to justice. We support the role of ICTY. Peace can only be built
on justice, not on revenge. 

We urge all Kosovo inhabitants, whether of civilian or military status, to
refrain and to actively discourage others from any acts of violence
against their neighbours. Such actions are unacceptable. Those responsible
will be brought to justice. 

We insist that the identity of all prisoners that have been transferred to
prisons outside Kosovo be made public and that they are immediately
returned to Kosovo to be handed over to UNMIK to be tried or released as
appropriate.  We insist that political proceedings now being held in
Serbian courts cease.  We insist that all political prisoners be released
immediately. We also insist that all People that are missing be also
immediately handed over to UNMIK. We support the joint efforts already
undertaken by human rights activists in the Albanian, Serb and other
communities, together with UNMIK and other nternational organizations, to
realise these demands. 

The road to reconciliation will be long and difficult. There is no such
thing as natural hatred among people in Kosovo. 

We have to work together. As first steps we have agreed today: 

-to establish a joint immediate line of communication among ourselves,
UNMIK and KFOR and to hold regular meetings such as today's; 

-to issue joint messages of cooperation and reconciliation on TV and

-to establish a joint crisis task force, together with UNMIK and KFOR, to
be able to quickly address security problems whenever they occur including
in and around historical and religious sites and to organize an early
meeting among religious and spiritual leaders to call for tolerance and
respect for religious sites; 

-and to establish, with the help of UNMIK and KFOR, local joint committees
involving different national communities to devise concrete pilot projects
to promote the gradual return of all people to their homes, starting with
Mitrovica and Gnijlane which can then be extended to other areas. end

The statement was signed on the Kosovo Albanian side by Kol Berisha (L),
Rexhep Qosja (LBD), Blerim Shala (Independent) and Hashim Thaci (UCK), and
for the Kosovo Serbs by Bishop Artemije and Father Sava of the Serbian
Orthodox Church in Kosovo, along with Dushan Ristic and Momcilo Trajkovic
for the Serbian Resistance Movement.