UN chief says it's "important for elections to succeed"
BELGRADE -- The success of elections, especially in northern Kosovo, will be important for future consolidation of peace and stability, says Ban Ki-moon's regular report.
"The overall security situation in Kosovo remained generally calm, with occasional incidents reported in ethnically mixed areas. All sides appeared to demonstrate an increased commitment to prevent tensions on the ground to enable the high level dialogue and implementation process to move forward," said the UN secretary-general.
The implementation of the Brussels agreement continues to move forward, but there is still a strong campaign in northern Kosovo against participation in the local elections although the Serbian leadership has committed its strong support for Kosovo Serb participation in the upcoming elections, Ban wrote in the document which the Tanjug news agency had seen.
He commended Belgrade and Priština for their continued efforts in the EU-facilitated dialogue and thanked High Representative Catherine Ashton, "whose personal role also continues to be essential."
"Progress on the ground toward peace and stability and in the political dialogue will also remain crucial in light of Serbia's and Kosovo's aspirations toward the European integration," he said.
"The Serbian leadership has committed its strong support for Kosovo Serb participation in the upcoming elections and has been playing an active role to that effect. By the end of the registration period on 4 September, a total of 103 political entities, including 19 in northern Kosovo, applied and were certified by the Kosovo Central Election Commission," Ban said.
The report, which will be read out at a session of the UN Security Council which Tanjug said it learned should be held in the second half of November, also highlights the murder of a EULEX member on September 19, stressing that a criminal investigation has been launched by EULEX with support from the Kosovo police and Kosovo Special Prosecutor's Office while the Serbian government has also pledged its full support.
In the section on police and the judiciary, the report reads that on 25 July, five Kosovo Serb and one Kosovo Albanian senior officers were appointed to command positions in the new Regional Police Command North in northern Kosovo.
Detailed negotiations on the transfer of judicial personnel and on the future court structure in northern Kosovo have proceeded more slowly, but are continuing. On 1 September, the Serbian Justice Ministry extended its earlier decision to suspend its activities in northern Kosovo, pending agreements of the outstanding issues, reads the report.
According to UNMIK, a total of 76 incidents affecting the minority communities were reported during the period between July 16 and October 15 this year, while three months earlier there were 90 such incidents.
As for the missing persons, Ban said that since the deployment of EULEX, in 2008, 407 field operations to collect data which could lead to exhumations have been carried out and remains of 355 individuals have been returned to families. However, there are estimated 1,720 persons who are still missing from the 1998-1999 conflict.
According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), as of September, 569 Kosovo Serb displaced families expressed willingness to return to Kosovo from Serbia, along with 112 Kosovo Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian families from Montenegro, and 45 Kosovo Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian families from Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
UNMIK Administration Mitrovica (UAM) continued its monitoring, mediation and facilitation roles, as part of UNMIK's sustained effort to support institutional and political progress in the region, the report reads.
"My Special Representative Farid Zarif has continued to invest substantial efforts in northern Kosovo by regularly engaging with all relevant stakeholders, both through meetings and public statements, in order to enhance constructive dialogue," Ban said in the report.
October 30, 2013 | 17:07 | Source: B92, Beta, Tanjug | Comments: (5) | Send comment
MOSCOW -- Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić conferred with his host, Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Moscow on Wednesday.
October 30, 2013 | 16:10 | Source: Beta | Comments: (3) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Opposition DSS party leader Vojislav Koštunica on Wednesday called on Constitutional Court (USS) President Dragiša Slijepčević to resign.
October 30, 2013 | 14:20 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (1) | Send comment
KRUŠEVAC -- The minister without portfolio in charge of EU integration, Branko Ružić. said on Wednesday that Serbia made "big steps in the EU integration process."
October 30, 2013 | 13:18 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (1) | Send comment
BRUSSELS -- The technical dialogue between Belgrade and Priština dealing with forthcoming local elections in Kosovo began in Brussels on Wednesday.
October 29, 2013 | 16:56 | Source: AFP, Tanjug | Comments: (10) | Send comment
LONDON -- PM Ivica Dačić has urged EU countries "to stop setting new conditions on the issue of Kosovo," as Serbia is expected to officially open its membership talks.
October 29, 2013 | 16:45 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (2) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- First Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić will visit Kosovo and Metohija on Friday, the Government Office for Kosovo said on Tuesday.
October 29, 2013 | 14:33 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (7) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The opposition Democratic party (DS) has no intention of merging with any party, including the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).
October 29, 2013 | 11:56 | Source: Blic, Tanjug | Comments: (6) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The EU holds different views on "whether Serbia should recognize Kosovo before it is admitted into the Union," says Alfred Gusenbauer.
October 29, 2013 | 11:18 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (8) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- President Tomislav Nikolić will be in Russia on Tuesday and Wednesday, where he will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin.
October 29, 2013 | 10:13 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (3) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The Democratic Party (DS) and the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) have agreed to intensify their parliamentary cooperation.
October 29, 2013 | 09:31 | Source: Beta, Tanjug | Comments: (6) | Send comment
LONDON -- Prime Minister Ivica Dačić said on Monday that the government's main priority was "to ensure that Serbia starts living as all normal countries."
October 28, 2013 | 16:11 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The defense ministers of Serbia and Croatia Nebojša Rodić and Ante Kotromanović met in Belgrade on Monday to discuss defense and security cooperation.
October 28, 2013 | 15:23 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (1) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- President Tomislav Nikolić will be on a working visit to Russia on Tuesday and Wednesday, during which he will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin.
October 28, 2013 | 14:09 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (10) | Send comment
PRIŠTINA -- The head of the election commission "dismissed the possibility of removing the state symbol of the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo from electoral materials."
October 28, 2013 | 11:21 | Source: Tanjug, TV Pink | Comments: (26) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Krstimir Pantić has said that he expects "the international community and Brussels will exert pressure on Priština by the end of the week."
October 28, 2013 | 10:01 | Source: Tanjug, Večernje novosti | Comments: (4) | Send comment
The Serbian delegation will be in Brussels on Wednesday to try once again to reach agreement with Priština on all issues related to the elections in Kosovo.
October 28, 2013 | 09:31 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (14) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- President Tomislav Nikolić has said that the statement of Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan that "Kosovo is Turkey” constitutes "aggression without weapons."
October 28, 2013 | 09:26 | Source: B92, Tanjug | Comments: (8) | Send comment
ANKARA, BELGRADE -- Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoglu said on Sunday that the statement made by Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan about Kosovo was "misinterpreted and taken out of context."
October 25, 2013 | 17:03 | Source: Beta | Comments: (22) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Aleksandar Vučić has "promised" a group of Serbs from Kosovo in Belgrade that he would visit the southern province ahead of the local elections there.