26 August 2006

Belgrade's Response to Ahtisaari and Rueker's Remarks

Ahtisaari does not adhere to mandate given to him by UN secretary-general
Belgrade, Aug 26, 2006 - The coordinators of the state negotiating team for talks on future status of Kosovo-Metohija, Slobodan Samardzic and Leon Kojen, said that the latest statement given by UN Special Envoy Marti Ahtisaari makes the already complicated negotiations on the province's future status even more difficult and warned him that in that way he assumes the role of arbitre which on no account belongs to him.
Leon Kojen and Slobodan Samardzic
As an individual and public person, Ahtisaari has the right to think what he wants, but as a special envoy of the UN secretary-general for the future status of Kosovo-Metohija, he has the obligation to adhere to standard norms of international conduct, reads the statement of the coordinators of the state negotiating team. The statements goes on to say that his persistent imputation of historical guilt to the Serbian people and the state is incompatible both with these norms and with the mandate he was given by the UN secretary-general. With his latest action, Ahtisaari has brought into question the minimum of trust which every international negotiator and mediator has to enjoy and thus has made the already difficult talks on the future status of Kosovo even more difficult and uncertain. Now he is the only one responsible for that and his groundless ambition to play the role of arbitre which on no account belongs to him, coordinators Samardzic and Kojen said. They warn that Ahtisaari forgets that precisely the United Nations, as the founder of a number of international courts, have always been the holder of the idea that responsibility for all crimes, even for the gravest ones, is always individual, never collective. No one who acts on behalf and under the aegis of the United Nations has the right to violate that organisation's basic principle. Therefore, it runs contrary to every standards of logic and politics to punish a state and a nation by taking into account its quasi collective culpability when resolving the issue such as the future status of Kosovo-Metohija, Samardzic and Kojen believe. Responding in Pristina to Serbia's request to clarify his earlier statement that Serbs " as a nation are guilty " for the situation in Kosovo-Metohija, Ahtisaari said that "every nation has a burden to pay for."
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Statements of UNMIK chief inappropriate
Belgrade, Aug 26, 2006 - Commenting on yesterday's statements made by UNMIK head Joachim Ruecker with which he indirectly announced that Kosovo-Metohija will be given independence and blamed Belgrade for the bad position of Serbs in Kosovo, Director of the Serbian government's Office of Media Relations Srdjan Djuric said that the United Nations did not authorise Joachim Ruecker to predict the final status of Kosovo-Metohija.
Djuric pointed out that Ruecker forgets what his duties are and that he is not authorised to give away something that does not belong to him, i.e. that he cannot give 15% of Serbia's territory to ethnic Albanian separatists. It would be of utmost importance if Ruecker started doing his job at the beginning of his term in office and made efforts to bring to justice those who have committed hundreds of unpunished crimes against Serbs in the province.