Kosovo daily Express writes on the front page that at last, something has been
put on paper regarding the ‘articulation’ of independence, adding that the
Negotiations Team has received proposals from US experts on principles of
negotiations. The paper runs a list of 20 principles drafted by the US-based
organization, Public International Law and Policy Group, led by professor Paul
Williams. Following is the full list of the Statement of Principles carried by Express:
1. Kosovo is a sovereign, fully independent, democratic state, which shall have
membership in the United Nations and all other appropriate international
2. Kosovo enjoys full territorial integrity on the basis of the borders of Kosovo as
defined in the SFRY constitution of 1974.
3. Kosovo shall become fully integrated into the international community and
shall abide by the customs and norms of international law.
4. Kosovo seeks full membership in the European Union through a Stabilization
and Association Agreement.
5. Kosovo seeks full membership in NATO.
6. Kosovo shall be governed by the will of the people, on the basis of its own
constitution, in accordance with the standards of the European Union. This
constitution and the laws deriving from it constitute the only valid legal and
governing system in Kosovo.
7. Kosovo commits to respecting and guaranteeing human rights and fundamental
freedoms for all citizens in Kosovo, including rights that derive from
international conventions and relevant documents of the United Nations,
European Union, Council of Europe and Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe, which will be adopted as an integral part of the Kosovo
constitution and legal system.
8. Kosovo shall provide constitutional guarantees and effective mechanisms to
strengthen the rule of law.
9. Kosovo shall provide legal guarantees and effective mechanisms to ensure the
rights of all Kosovo’s citizens, including the rights of Kosovo’s minority
communities; and to ensure the right of refugees and displaced persons to
return to their homes in safety.
10. Kosovo undertakes to assure the security and preservation of Kosovo’s diverse
religious and cultural heritage.
11. Kosovo shall establish effective democratic structures of local self-government
in order to facilitate the coexistence of different communities and ensure
equitable access to public services.
12. Kosovo shall undertake efforts in good faith to conduct friendly and good
relations with neighbouring states in order to promote regional stability and
13. Kosovo is responsible for its own external and internal security. It will share
the responsibility of external security with an international military presence
under NATO auspices until such time as Kosovo becomes a NATO member.
Kosovo agrees to work jointly with Interpol and Europol.
14. Kosovo shall invite specified international organizations to assist with the
development of effective state institutions, to monitor security and ensure
protection of human and minority rights as guaranteed by the constitution.
Mechanisms developed in Kosovo for these purposes should parallel
mechanisms employed in the fulfillment of Stabilization and Association
Agreements with the EU.
15. Kosovo shall continue to develop a market-based economic system open to
foreign trade and investment. Kosovo shall seek membership in international
16. On a reciprocal basis, consistent with international law, Kosovo shall assure the
free flow of people, goods, capital and information.
17. Kosovo insists on an equitable share of the assets of the SFRY. Kosovo pledges
to work with Serbia to create a mechanism to review the succession process.
18. Kosovo insists on the return of pensions and the payment of reparations from
19. Kosovo insists on the return of all historical, legal, civil, property and
government documents and artifacts, which includes Cadastral data.
20. Upon the independence of Kosovo, UNSC 1244 and UNMIK are terminated.
All competencies should be transferred to Kosovo’s institutions. Laws,
regulations and provisions enacted under the auspices of UNMIK retain their
validity until modified by the Kosovo Parliament.
Express also carries an op-ed by Daci’s [ Head of Assembly] political advisor,
Ramush Tahiri, who says that this day will bring pragmatic optimism. Unlike previous
meetings of the Negotiations Team, this time the three institutional leaders and the
two opposition eaders have decided not to bring along their advisors.
This means, says Tahiri, that we can expect a constructive meeting, exchange of opinions
and viewpoints, but also concrete decisions on all issues, or at least on most of them.
The Assembly is expected to adopt the Talks Platform or Principles of the Platform
for Kosovo during this month, which will express the unity and the vision for the fate
of Kosovo, concludes Tahiri. F.F