Thursday, February 23, 2006

Staes: Ramush Haradinaj has an important mission in Kosovo

Bart Staes, member of the European Parliament says in an opinion piece that it is
important to apply the principle of innocence to Haradinaj and allow him an active
involvement in political life in Kosovo. This, according to him, is important not only
for Kosovo and the region, but also for the EU, Zëri reports.

Staes further says that when he was in Kosovo, last October and recently at the funeral
of President Rugova, he noticed that Haradinaj is a national symbol for Kosovans and
also very appreciated by the international community, therefore he is important for the
peaceful process of final status.

Staes recalls the ICG assessment that Haradinaj’s call to the people in Decani to keep
calm, after his indictment, saying he trusted ICTY and international justice, was an
important factor in preventing violence. He also cites former British Foreign Minister,
Robin Cook as saying that Kosovo under Haradinaj’s leadership did more for the
implementation of the key Standards, like the rights of minorities and return of
refugees, than had been achieved in the previous five years.

The European MP also writes that the chief of the UN mission in Kosovo Jessen-
Petersen has described Haradinaj as a friend and a man with ‘dynamic leadership,
strong engagement and a vision’.

A small but important step in all this process would be to ensure that Ramush
Haradinaj is free to exercise all his constructive influence, Staes concludes.
Zeri, Kosovo Daily

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