Thursday, April 14, 2005

Rugova’s free Kosovo

PRISHTINA -- Thursday - Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova said that thanks to NATO and friends, Kosovo has already been free for the past six years.

Rugova said that a lot has changed in Kosovo in these past six years and that the region is nearing independence.

“When the US and the European Union recognize Kosovo’s independence, Kosovo’s neighbors will do the same. UNMIK will stay in Kosovo for a while longer, but only in the role of an observer, while KFOR and NATO will continue to do their work. Kosovo will have its own armed forces with a limited number of soldiers.” Rugova said.

“Belgrade can give its opinion about Kosovo, but has no right to lead processes or make decisions. That is why I stress that a quick acceptance of the situation is the best solution for them.” Rugova said.

“Getting the Kosovo Serbs involved in the community and institutions would be a lot easier if Kosovo gained recognition, but a lot of time must past before we will be able to live together, side by side. There are seats reserved in the Kosovo parliament for Serb officials, three ministries and a separate budget as well.” Rugova added.

Kosovo officials Azem Vlasi said that Serbian President Boris Tadic’s call for a meeting to be held with Rugova was nothing more than a bit of marketing.

“The Serbian president’s invitation he sent through the newspapers was completely improvised and serves as nothing more than cheap propaganda, instead of representing a serious national act. It is a political maneuver used while the Contact Group is here, in the sense of ‘I’m inviting you for talks, even though I know you will not accept the invitation.’” Vlasi said. b92

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