Friday, September 07, 2007

US worried about Serbia's divergent signals on Kosovo

Thu Sep 6, 6:06 PM ET AFP

The United States expressed concern on Thursday about "contradictory" signals from Serbia over how Belgrade might respond to a declaration of independence by Kosovo.

The US State Department said it would ask Serbia to clarify its stance after state secretary Dusan Prorokovic warned in an interview with the New York Times that Belgrade would be ready to deploy Serbian troops if Kosovo's ethnic Albanian government declared independence.

Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic, in an interview published Thursday with the Financial Times, struck a more moderate tone, saying Serbia would not threaten military action in response to any independence move by Kosovo.

State Department spokesman Tom Casey said: "We have two contradictory statements out there by two officials from the government" and said threats of military force were "unhelpful."

"It would be unhelpful and certainly a step backward for this region, for Serbia as well as for Kosovars if there were any renewed violence in Kosovo or associated with it," Casey said.

"And to the extent that we are engaged in ongoing diplomatic discussions, it is certainly inappropriate and unhelpful for anyone to be making threats.".........AFP Yahoo News

SerbBlog: The Albanians threaten more violence, the US threatens unilateral recognition of Kosovo and they think that is OK. But when Serbia "threatens" to defend its own territory from being stolen, that is supposed to be "inappropriate and unhelpful". What an embarassment these State Department idiots are to all of us Americans!

I used to think that Condi Rice "wasn't stupid", but the State Department policy on Kosovo has really made me wonder!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Julia Gorin: "How it Works in Kosovo"

Chris Deliso’s book The Coming Balkan Caliphate describes the ordeal of former OSCE official and Kosovo whistle-blower Tom Gambill as he tried to sound the warning about terror groups operating in the Balkans. In the process, Deliso sheds light on the difference between the type of soldier my erstwhile KFOR source is and the types of military hacks who muzzled him are:

[Gambill] knew from police reports and photos that the group [Revival of Islamic Heritage Society] was active in the central Kosovo village of Malisevo and was presumed to be dangerous. The security officer made a point of bringing it up at security meetings and in written correspondence with the U.S. Department of State throughout 2003. However, he ran up against a brick wall. “I had this info [about the charities] all the way back in 2001,” says Gambill. “But the State Department didn’t want to hear about it"........Republican Riot (SerbBlog gets a mention.)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The Serbo-Judeo-Phobia Club

By M. Bozinovich

The Serbo-Judeo-Phobia Club mentioned in Julia Gorin’s blog Amanpour’s Jewphobia is no Surprise Coming from a Serbophobe has its source and the source is the same one as the 9/11 terrorists: Saudi Arabia.

In 2002, Muslim World Council (aka Rabita), a proselytizing tool of the Saudi state that has a ponderous influence in the Organization of Islamic Conference, has officially designated Jews and Serbs as enemies of Islam.

“[A]ccording to the Islamic Fiqh Council, there are various forms of terrorism, which include state terrorism, the most conspicuous illustration and the most heinous of which is practiced in Palestine today by the Israelis, and by the Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo,” writes Muslim World League Journal in its July 2002 issue.

Both Serbia and Israel did not need this official Islamic designation to realize that an active Islamic conspiracy is seeking to exterminate them because policies practiced on them are nearly identical......Serbianna

"Significant part of EU opposes Kosovo recognition"

LONDON -- A British analyst says a "large number" of EU member states oppose a declaration of Kosovo's independence.

In the opinion of Dr. Jonathan Eyal, an analyst at London’s Royal United Services Institute, this could lead to the province having a status similar to that of Taiwan.

He told the BBC that, "Interestingly, on the subject of a (unilateral) proclamation of independence, the split doesn’t run along east-west European lines. Spain, Romania, Slovakia, and even Great Britain all have their doubts."

Eyal believes that a U.S. recognition of Kosovo's independence would put the EU into a difficult position.

"I don’t see how the EU could agree to recognition of a unilateral declaration of independence, just as I doubt the Americans would refrain from it. For Washington, Kosovo represents an opportunity to show Russia that it does not have a right to veto security issues in Europe," said Eyal.

That is why the analyst believes that the solution will be to give Kosovo a status similar to that of Taiwan.

"The EU won’t recognize Kosovo as an independent country, but will de facto cooperate with it, in terms of recognizing passports, opening information bureaus instead of diplomatic missions in Priština," he said.

Eyal added that the EU could even persuade the authorities in Priština to accept the presence of European armed forces in the field, which would take care of law and order, and such a "strange arrangement" would allow the EU to avoid not only a Russian veto, but also conflict with Washington.

The analyst thinks that it is unusual that "amidst this Russian and American one-upmanship, few people have bothered to consider the international consequences, which could end up being very serious."

"It’s the West that is breaching international law if it recognizes Kosovo," he warned, explaining that it would be most detrimental to western Europe, as the U.S. "has never recognized the supremacy of the UN and the Security Council in matters of international law," recalling that the U.S. had bypassed the Security Council in 1999 when it bombed Yugoslavia over Kosovo.

Eyal told the BBC that he does not entirely ruled out the possibility of talks between Belgrade and Priština continuing beyond December 10.

The analyst believes that retaining the status quo isn’t "overly attractive", although it is certainly "on the table."

"Sadly, the Kosovo question has now gone far beyond just determining its status and has become the subject of a serious dispute between the U.S. and Russia. I am afraid the State Department may decide to recognize a unilateral declaration of Kosovo independence," concluded Eyal

Monday, September 03, 2007

B92:Ethnic Albanians, police exchage fire in Macedonia

SKOPJE -- A former ethnic Albanian guerrilla leader said Friday his men had a short exchange of gunfire with police.

The officers then allegedly retreated from Tanuševci, which BIRN describes in its report from Skopje as "secession-minded" village near Macedonia's border with Kosovo.

Xhezair Shakiri, who was known as "Commander Hoxha" during the 2001 armed conflict in Macedonia, told local media Friday that police retreated from the mountain village on the border with Kosovo he claims to control.

The 2001 fighting between the Macedonian security forces and ethnic Albanian guerillas started when the guerillas took over Tanuševci and proclaimed it as “liberated territory."

The conflict ended later that year with a peace accord that gave greater rights to ethnic minorities in the country.

Police officials refused to comment on Shakiri’s claims, instead saying in a prepared statement: “The police are regularly practicing their everyday activities on the whole territory of the country.”

“We have information that around ten shots from automatic weapons have been heard from the area of Tanuševci, but we do not know who fired them,” police spokesman Ivo Kotevski told Balkan Insight.

Local A1 TV cited people claiming they witnessed a third version of events. These people said Shakiri and his armed group fired shots from grenade launchers and personal weapons into the air, and that police did not return fire.

Shakiri last week challenged the central government when he said that villagers in Tanuševci want to unite with Kosovo.

He said in an interview that the Macedonian police are not welcome in the village. Shakiri also accused Macedonian authorities of disinterest in his village’s problems and of leaving the community “in the hands of destiny.”

“That is why we ask for the unification with Kosovo. Furthermore, our geographic position and family bonds tie us to that country,” Shakiri said.

Shakiri is a former deputy to the Macedonian parliament who is charged with kidnapping the former mayor of the municipality of Studeničani during the 2001 armed conflict.

He refuses to face the charges and claims that he is being framed by the police.

The largest ethnic Albanian opposition party formed by the former guerrilla fighters, Democratic Union for Integration, DUI, held an emergency meeting that lasted late into Thursday night to discuss mounting friction with the police.

DUI Vice President Teuta Arifi said after the meeting that Macedonian authorities are harassing the former guerrilla fighters.

For example, DUI members contend that party president Ali Ahmeti’s bodyguard was questioned and searched for illegal weapons recently.

"Kosovo Status is Not A Problem"


“There is no problem of Kosovo, because the question of Kosovo and its status was resolved long before the conflict in Kosovo, long before the relevant United Nations (UN) Security Council resolution. Kosovo is an inalienable part of Serbia according to all international charters, documents and legal resolutions”.

“There is only the problem of the Albanian national minority in the state of Serbia and that is what should be discussed during negotiations,” Bishop Artemije pointed out. ... Byzantine Sacred Art

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Aleksinovac Serbs Want to Help Their Brother Greeks in Need After the Fires

I received an email yesterday from someone named Dr. Dusan Ostojic from the city of Aleksinovac in Serbia about a drive to help brother Greeks in need after the horrible fires that swept across Greece in the last week. I've never met Dr. Ostojic, but this sounds like a kind and honorable gesture. From what I could make out in my very poor written understanding of the Serbian language (and with the help of my bilingual friend, Svetlana Novko over at Byzantine Sacred Art Blog), Dr. Ostojic mentioned the great help that their brother Greeks had given Serbs after the NATO Bombing, and now Serbs from Aleksinovac want to return the favor.

Just so that I don't mess this up too badly in the translation, I am going to reprint the email here in Serbian. May God Bless your efforts, Dr. Ostojic!

Subject: Obavestavamo Vas da je grupa gradjana grada Aleksinca pokrenula
inicijativu za pomoc postradalima u pozarima koji besne prostorom Grcke


Obavestavamo Vas da je grupa gradjana grada Aleksinca pokrenula inicijativu za pomoc postradalima u pozarima koji besne prostorom Grcke.
Gradjani su pokrenuli peticiju da se 03.09.2007.godine proglasi danom zalosti u Republici Srbiji kao dan secanja na sve zrtve pozara u Grckoj.
Kako je to dan polaska djaka u skole, dacemo lep primer deci da su gradjani Grcke zaista nasa braca i da ih trebamo postovati kao i oni nas.
Svesni ogromne pomoci koju su gradjani Grcke pruzali stanovnicima Aleksinca u doba Nato bombardovanja, gradjani Aleksinca su odlucili da pokrenu ovu inicijativu.
Za sada se inicijativi prikljucilo vise od 1200 stanovnika aleksinacke opstine koji su svojim potpisom dali podrsku ovoj ideji,da se peticija prosledi nadleznima u Republici Srbiji.
Inicijativni odbor akcije na celu sa ing Marjanom Cvetanovicem i dr Dusanom Ostojicem je kontaktirao predstavnike grcke ambasade i u toku su dogovori o svim vidovima pomoci Aleksincana postradalom stanovnistvu Grcke.
Molimo Vas da o ovome obavestite javnost kako bi se sto veci broj ljudi sa prostora citave Srbije prikljucio akciji pomoci ugrozenom grckom stanovnistvu.
Za svaku vrstu kontakta mozete se obratiti:
ing. Marjan Cvetanovic, inicijator akcije 064/9757-169
dr Dusan Ostojic, koordinator press aktivnosti 064/1156-856
S postovanjem,
Koordinator press aktivnosti: dr Dusan Ostojic

Serbian Widlfires: Albanian Extortion and Arson? Got to Make you Wonder about Fires in Greece!

From B92

An official says a threat came a month ago that the Kosovo administrative boundary area would be set on fire.

While the blazes continue in the area along the administrative line separating Serbia proper and Kosovo, the state forestry management enterprise, Srbijašume, says all the fires that broke out in the region in the past couple of days were the work of arsonists.

Fires have often broken out simultaneously in several locations at night time, when firefighters often could not reach the locations for safety concerns.

Forestry directorate chief with Srbijašume, Branislav Prolović, told reporters Friday that his company received information from Kosovo a month ago that the entire area along the separation line between municipalities of Kuršumlija and Podujevo would be torched.

"One of the key officials in Kosovo threatened that everything from Ugljarski Krš to Prepolac, on the administrative line between Podujevo and Kuršumlija, would burn, and so it has."

"So far the fire has spread to some ten kilometers along the line, five more to go to Ugljarski Krš. These are the 15 kilometers that have always been volatile."

"The structure that burnt down recently belonged to a woman who was robbed and murdered there after the war. Now the house has been torched as well," Prolović says.

The firefighters in the region remain on high alert.

Last night, firefighting teams gathered to help extinguish fires in the villages of Mehana, Zebica and Kupinovo near Prolom , which had broken out at about 6 p.m. This fire was not localized, according to representatives from the Srbijašume company.

There are still no details as to whether the fire on the administrative boundary with Kosovo in the village of Tačevac has spread to the Kuršumlija municipality, but it was not put out last night for safety reasons.

Fire around Tara localized

Firefighters have succeeded in localizing a fire which broke out four days ago in Tara national park. Owing to sporadic high winds, the situation is being closely monitored to make sure the situation does not get out of control again.

Chief of the Užice Fire Brigade Saša Cicvarić says that over a hundred firemen, police officers and national park workers have been brought in to help fight the blaze.

Cicvarić said that, "We were trying to localize that fire until 6am, doing everything that was humanly possible. At the same time, we called for assistance. Help arrived from all sides – from Šabac, Valjevo, Kragujevac, Prijepolje, Čačak."

Because of the inaccessible terrain where the fire had broken out, they even had to use excavators to reach a section of the road, for the water cisterns to be able get as close to the blaze as possible.

One of the firemen, Blagoje Radišić, said that their efforts to extinguish the fire had been complicated by high winds and steep terrain.

Radišić reported that two firemen had received minor injuries during the operation."The people at the bottom and underneath have to keep an eye out for falling stones."

"Basically, the roots of a tree burn out, then some land gives way. You’ve seen how rocky it is, and the stones come crashing down in what’s virtually an avalanche.

It is estimated that about 60 hectares of pine forest has been destroyed, including some trees over 300 years old.