Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Written Evidence


Further written evidence submitted by the Embassy of Serbia and Montenegro

  The conclusion of the emergency session of the Government of the Republic of Serbia of 4 December 2004, concerning the election of Ramush Haradinaj for Prime Minister of Kosovo and Metohija, is supported by the President of Serbia Mr Boris Tadic, the President of the Assembly of Serbia Mr Predrag Markovic, the representatives of Serbia in the Council of Ministers of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro: Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Vuk Draskovic, Minister of Defense Mr Prvoslav Davinic as well as the President of the Coordination Center for Kosovo and Metohija, Mr NebojsaCovic.

  The Conclusion was elaborated by the Prime Minister of Serbia, Mr Vojislav Kostunica.

  The Conclusion of the Government of Serbia is the following:

CONCLUSION

I.

  1.  The authorities of Serbia, together with the authorities of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro and before them also those of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, have since October 2000 followed a policy of resolving the problems which exist in Kosovo and Metohija in a peaceful, consensual and sustainable manner. Their contribution to the implementation of UNSC Resolution 1244 is reflected in numerous initiatives, documents and processes which are all based on a policy of applying universal international standards of human rights, democracy and the rule of law in the concrete conditions of Kosovo and Metohija, all with the aim of preserving and further developing the multi-ethnic character of the Province. Such an approach was adhered to fully in the process of drafting the Constitutional Framework for Kosovo and Metohija, the adoption of the Common Document with UNMIK on the implementation of UNSC Resolution 1244, as well as the adoption of the Plan for resolving the current situation in Kosovo and Metohija immediately after the violent events of March this year.

  2.  The Government of the Republic of Serbia must conclude with regret that the representatives of the civilian presence (UNMIK) in Kosovo and Metohija have not shown sufficient interest in or understanding for the constructive proposals put forward by our authorities. They have mainly made allowances for the exclusionary demands made by the ethnic Albanian side in Kosovo and Metohija. The actual result of such a policy was to create the necessary conditions for the altered ethnic image of the Province formed by the mass expulsion and forced emigration of the Serbs to be presented as an unchangeable reality in Kosovo and Metohija. The organised pogrom committed by ethnic Albanian extremists against the Serbs on 17 and 18 March this year could not be concealed from the eyes of the democratic world. It was not just the culmination of the behaviour of ethnic Albanian extremists in the Province towards the Serb community seen up that date, but part and parcel of a constant pattern in that respect.

  3.  It is unacceptable for the Government of the Republic of Serbia that the parliament of Kosovo and Metohija elected as the prime minister Ramush Haradina, a person with a criminal past acquired and maintained in the pre-war period, during the war and after it. A total of 108 criminal complaints have so far been filed against him. An investigation into his involvement in war crimes against the civilian population is being conducted by the War Crimes Panel of the District Court in Belgrade, which has ordered his arrest and issued a warrant to that effect. This person is also under investigation by the Hague Tribunal. We can ask with full justification what kind of message his election is sending to the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija, to the Republic of Serbia and the State Union, the region and the rest of the world, and in particular what kind of message is being sent to the international administration in Kosovo and Metohija?

  4.  In spite of the fact that the highest representatives of the international community in Kosovo and Metohija have turned a blind a eye to this development of the situation in the province, the authorities of Serbia are firmly convinced that the election of such a person for the Prime Minister of Kosovo and Metohija cannot be justified by platitudes about democracy or formal procedures.

  Taking into account the aforementioned, the Government of the Republic of Serbia condemns the election of Ramush Ilaradina as the Prime Minister of Kosovo and Metohija, as that action of the parliament of the Province represents a most direct threat to the process of finding common solutions for the problems which exist in the Province.

II.

  Proceeding from this, the Government of the Republic of Serbia demands:

  1.  that the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, on the basis of his powers defined by UNSC Resolution 1244, invalidate this provocative and risk-inducing act;

  2.  the immediate initiation of a substantial political process involving dialogue on decentralisation and on other essential political issues of Kosovo and Metohija, with the participation of representatives of UNMIK, the provisional institutions and the Kosovo Serbs, and representatives of Republic of Serbia and the State-Union;

  3.  that those talks be monitored and guided intensively by the Contract Group;

  4.  that the UN Security Council, with regard to the aims and values of the United Nations and their responsibility for the exercise of human rights and maintenance of peace in the world, monitor and control the realisation of UNSC 1244 with the utmost responsibility;

  5.  that the organisations which are present in Kosovo and Metohija whose mandate and objectives cover the development of democracy, rule of law and exercise of human rights, such as the OSCE and the Council of Europe, present a clear position on the election of Ramush Haradina as the Prime Minister of Kosovo and Metohija;

  6.  that the European Union once again re-assesses the realisation of the Province's European perspective, in the light of the fact that the holder of the highest executive office has been accused of extremely serious crimes.

III.

  The Government and all state organs of authority of the Republic of Serbia will continue to provide their full contribution to the resolution of the problems in Kosovo and Metohija towards preservation of the multi-ethnic character of the province and its peaceful and democratic future.

IV.

  This Conclusion shall be forwarded to the National Assembly, the President of the Republic, the Co-Ordinating Centre for Kosovo and Metohija and all ministries and self-standing agencies of the Republic of Serbia

05 No.02-8118/2004

Belgrade; 4 December2004

GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA

Prime Minister

Vojislay Kostunica

Embassy of Serbia and Montenegro





 
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