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Monday, August 24th, 2009

Subject:Ngoại giao cho thuê
Time:3:01 pm.


Chủ Nhật, 02/08/2009, 09:40
Tiền Phong Online

TP - Trên thế giới bắt đầu xuất hiện những nhà ngoại giao hoạt động độc lập, không phụ thuộc vào bất kỳ một chính phủ hay định chế quốc tế nào. Họ sẵn sàng tư vấn, hỗ trợ về quan hệ ngoại giao với mức phí thấp, nhưng đạt kết quả bất ngờ.

Independent Diplomat (ID)  có trụ sở chính tại Mỹ có lẽ là tổ chức phi lợi nhuận duy nhất hiện nay trên thế giới chuyên cung cấp dịch vụ trong lĩnh vực quan hệ quốc tế, ngăn chặn xung đột; hỗ trợ các chính quyền lèo lái bộ máy hành chính phức tạp; tư vấn cho các định chế quốc tế trong việc giúp đỡ một quốc gia... ID là tập hợp của các nhà cựu ngoại giao, luật sư quốc tế và chuyên gia quan hệ quốc tế danh tiếng đến từ nhiều quốc gia khác nhau.

ID bắt đầu nổi danh khi góp phần giúp tỉnh Kosovo thuộc Serbia giành được sự công nhận độc lập từ nhiều nước trên thế giới. “Chúng tôi nhận được sự hỗ trợ lớn từ họ (ID) vào thời điểm chúng tôi cần nhất”, đại diện Kosovo tại Liên minh châu Âu (EU), phát biểu với hãng tin AP.

Tuy nhiên, ID cũng đối mặt với làn sóng chỉ trích rằng các nhà ngoại giao hoạt động tự do không nên gia tăng ảnh hưởng.

“Chính phủ hoặc các quan chức quốc tế thường từ chối trao đổi với khách hàng của chúng tôi hoặc nếu có nói chuyện họ cũng không muốn cung cấp những thông tin cần thiết”, Nicholas Whyte, Giám đốc Văn phòng ID tại Brussels (Bỉ), giải thích với báo chí.

Cựu chuyên gia quốc tế người Ai-len (Ireland) này cũng cho biết thêm: “Về phía khách hàng của chúng tôi, họ thường thiếu kinh nghiệm trong việc giải quyết các vấn đề quốc tế và không có ai chịu trao đổi với họ”.

Với văn phòng tại New York, Washington (Mỹ), London (Anh), Brussels (Bỉ) và Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), tổ chức độc lập này cung cấp cho khách hàng trên toàn thế giới phương cách để tiếp cận với chính phủ nước ngoài hoặc các định chế quốc tế như Liên Hợp Quốc, Liên minh châu Âu.

ID cũng tư vấn cho các quốc gia trên những vấn đề mà họ thiếu chuyên môn. Cộng hoà Quần đảo Marshall được ID tư vấn để tham gia vào chương trình chống biến đổi khí hậu của UN. Trong khi đó, một số nước Đông Âu cần tới sự giúp đỡ của các nhà cựu ngoại giao, chuyên gia luật quốc tế của ID để tiến trình gia nhập EU trôi chảy hơn.

Cựu quan chức ngoại giao Anh Carne Ross, người sáng lập và hiện là Giám đốc ID, khẳng định tổ chức này tuân thủ chính sách nghiêm khắc trong việc từ chối những khách hàng có liên quan tới xung đột quân sự như Hamas ở dải Gaza (Palestine), Những con hổ Tamil ở Sri Lanka.

Tổ chức các nhà ngoại giao độc lập khẳng định họ có thế mạnh nổi bật trong vai trò trung gian, bao gồm việc tổ chức cuộc gặp gần đây giữa các quan chức EU và Tổng thống của chính phủ lưu vong thuộc Tây Sahara.

Vùng đất này thuộc về Morocco cách đây 35 năm, nhưng chính phủ lưu vong của Tây Sahara đang đòi độc lập. Những vùng lãnh thổ khác như Bắc Cyprus, Somaliland cũng nhờ tới sự giúp đỡ của ID. Những quốc gia độc lập có liên quan tới vùng lãnh thổ còn tranh chấp kể trên không hài lòng với sự tham gia của ID.

Phát biểu với AP, Robert Cooper, Tổng Thư ký Hội đồng châu Âu ở Brussel, cho rằng đối với các tổ chức phi chính phủ (NGO), đạt được bất kỳ thành công nào trên các vấn đề quốc tế thường rất khó khăn.

“Một số NGO hoạt động hiệu quả và được tôn trọng, nhưng cuối cùng chẳng được gì cả”, ông Cooper nói.

Richard Dalton, cựu Đại sứ Anh tại Iran, lại nói rằng các hoạt động kể trên là nỗ lực của cá nhân, những người có thể tạo nên sự khác biệt. “Các quy tắc và triết lý của họ có thể phủ lấp lỗ hổng cho các nước, phong trào, nơi người ta chưa thể tiếp cận được với hệ thống quốc tế”, cựu Đại sứ Dalton phát biểu với AP.


Monday, January 19th, 2009

Subject:VAJT: Protivrečna tri stuba srpske spoljne politike
Time:5:02 pm.
Dnevnik

(Od našeg dopisnika iz Brisela)

Šef briselskog biroa „Nezavisnih diplomata“ i bivši rukovodilac za Evropu Međunarodne krizne grupe Nikolas Vajt u razgovoru za „Dnevnik“ kaže da su tri stuba međunarodne politike Srbije – očuvanje ustavnog poretka, evropske integracije i jačanje regionalne saradnje – u kontradikciji.

– Prvi i treći cilj su protivrečni, jer ako ste ozbiljni u vođenju dobrosusedske politike i jačanju regionalne saradnje, onda morate da razgovarate i s vladom u Prištini, a to je u suprotnosti s vođenjem politike da je Kosovo deo Srbije. Tako da bi moje pitanje srpskoj vladi bilo: koji je od tri stuba vaše politike baziran na iluziji? – izjavio je Vajt za naš list.

Srpski zvaničnici se često pozivaju na Kipar kao primer koji omogućava Srbiji da uđe u EU bez rešenog pitanja Kosova?

– Za Srbiju ne bi bilo dobro da insistira na „kiparskom pristupu“. Prvo, zato što nema Grčku koja bi uslovila ulazak drugih zemalja u EU ulaskom Srbije, kao što je Atina uradila za grčki deo Kipra. Drugi razlog je što svi u Evropskoj uniji neprestano ponavaljaju da neće uvesti u EU još jedan „kiparski problem“, odnosno Srbiju bez rešenog pitanja njenog odnosa prema Kosovu.

U diplomatskim krugovima se pominje i „irsko rešenje“, odnosno način kako su Irska i Velika Britanija razrešile pitanje Severne Irske. Budući da ste Irac, kako vidite tu soluciju?

– Irski primer je mnogo bolji jer se pokazao kao izvodljiv i funkcionalan, budući da su i Irska i Velika Britanija postale članice EU i u njoj su sve do danas. Po proglašenju nezavisnosti Irske, malo je poznata činjenica da je nešto manje od 24 sata i Severna Irska bila deo Irske, ali se Severna Irska praktično istog dana vratila u Veliku Britaniju. Ustav Irske je priznao ono što se dogodilo na terenu. U članu 2 Ustava napisano je da je nacionalna teritorija Irske celo ostrvo Irska, a u članu 3 se priznavalo da se Ustav Irske primenjuje samo na južni deo ostrva, odnosno da se ne primenjuje na šest grofovija u Severnoj Irskoj. Dablin se poneo ozbiljno i odgovorno jer nije hteo da prihvati odgovornost za deo teritorije na kojoj nije mogao da sprovodi svoje zakone. Dakle, postavljaju se dva pitanja: da li Srbija može da sprovodi svoje zakone na Kosovu, i da li je spremna da preuzme međunarodnu odgovornost za ono što se na Kosovu događa, što bi morala ako tvrdi da je to deo njene teritorije.

Da li vidite neke druge prepreke s kojima bi se Srbija mogla suočiti na putu evropskih integracija koje nisu vezane za Haški tribunal i Kosovo?

– To mogu biti unutrašnji problemi u EU vezani za Lisabonski sporazum. Ali, poslednji rezultati ispitivanja javnog mnjenja u Irskoj pokazuju da će Irci odobriti ratifikaciju tog akta. Ipak, treba biti oprezan do kraja. Ako Lisabonski sporazum u Irskoj ne prođe, bićemo u velikom problemu jer će pojedine zemlje, pre svega Francuska i Nemačka, u tom slučaju zaustaviti proces daljih integracija. Druga eventualna prepreka je (ne)uspešnost Srbije u sprovođenju reformi i jačanju svojih administrativnih kapaciteta.

Irska je primer koliko članstvo u EU donosni koristi. Koje naučene lekcije Irske mogu poslužiti Srbiji?

– Evropska orijentacija je bila ključna da preokrene beskorisnu irsku nacionalističku zadojenost u nešto vrlo pozitivno. Do sedamdesetih godina prošlog veka biti irski nacionalista u suštini je značilo biti protiv Engleza i mrzeti ih. Evropski okvir je promenio smisao gledanja na svet, i Irska nije više sebe gledala samo kroz odnos s Velikom Britanijom i Englezima nego s Evropom i drugim zemljama, kao što su Danska, Belgija, Španija. Shvatili smo da to što smo mala zemlja u kojoj se govori engleski i koja ima odlične veze sa Sjedinjenim Državama, nije naš hendikep već naša prednost. Drugim rečima, Srbija bi trebalo da, kao Irska, izađe iz priče stalnog sukoba sa susedima i da u evropskom okviru pronađe svoj koncept viđenja same sebe u evorpskoj orijentaciji koji neće dovoditi u pitanje srpsku kulturu i vrednosti, ali će biti mnogo prihvatljiviji za njene susede.

Šta bi konkretno Srbija mogla „prekopirati“?

– Reformu obrazovnog sistema koji bi bio prilagođen stvaranju kadrova neophodnih tržištu rada, vođenje vrlo povoljne poreske politike za sve koji žele da investiraju i da se bave biznisom, učvršćivanje nezavisnog i efikasnog pravosudnog sistema u kojem je svaki građanin i kapital zaštićen i stvaranje trojnog pakta između države, industrijalaca i sindikata u cilju poboljšanja standarda i kvaliteta života ljudi.

Željko Pantelić

Subject:Vajt: Za Kosovo bolji irski primer
Time:5:00 pm.
Šef briselskog biroa Nezavisnih diplomata i bivši član Međunarodne krizne grupe Nikolas Vajt ocenio je da su tri stuba spoljne politike Srbije, ustavni poredak, evropske integracije i regionalna saradnja, u kontradikciji.

Brisel

"Prvi i treći cilj su protivrečni, jer ako ste ozbiljni u vođenju dobrosusedske politike i jačanju regionalne saradnje, onda morate da razgovarate i s vladom u Prištini, a to je u suprotnosti s vođenjem politike da je Kosovo deo Srbije", rekao je Vajt.

On je za "Danas" istakao "da bi njegovo pitanje srpskoj vladi bilo: Koji je od tri stuba vaše politike baziran na iluziji"?

Za Srbiju, po njegovom mišljenju, ne bi bilo dobro da insistira na "kiparskom pristupu, prvo zato što nema Grčku koja bi uslovila ulazak drugih zemalja u EU ulaskom Srbije, kao što je Atina uradila za grčki deo Kipra".

"Drugi razlog je što svi u Evropskoj uniji neprestano ponavaljaju da neće uvesti u EU još jedan kiparski problem, odnosno Srbiju bez rešenog pitanja njenog odnosa prema Kosovu", rekao je Vajt.

"Irski primer je mnogo bolji, jer se pokazao kao izvodljiv i funkcionalan, budući da su i Irska i Velika Britanija postale članice EU i u njoj su sve do danas", dodao je on.

"Po proglašenju nezavisnosti Irske, malo je poznata činjenica da je nešto manje od 24 sata i Severna Irska bila deo Irske, ali se ona praktično istog dana vratila u Veliku Britaniju. Ustav Irske je priznao ono što se dogodilo na terenu", rekao je Vajt, Irac po nacionalnosti.

"Dablin se poneo ozbiljno i odgovorno, jer nije hteo da prihvati odgovornost za deo teritorije na kojoj nije mogao da sprovodi svoje zakone", ocenio je šef briselskog biroa.

"Dakle, postavljaju se dva pitanja: Da li Srbija može da sprovodi svoje zakone na Kosovu i da li je spremna da preuzme međunarodnu odgovornost za ono što se na Kosovu događa, što bi morala ako tvrdi da je to deo njene teritorije", zaključio je Vajt.

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

Subject:Serb parliament adopts new constitution
Time:9:31 pm.
By DUSAN STOJANOVIC Associated Press Writer
© 2006 The Associated Press

BELGRADE, Serbia — Serbia's parliament formally adopted a new constitution on Wednesday reasserting Serbia's claim over Kosovo and ruling out possible independence for the predominantly ethnic Albanian province.

The constitution, which was approved in a popular referendum last month ,has stirred controversy with its preamble that refers to Kosovo as par tof Serbia, despite the province's current status as a U.N.-run protectorate and ongoing international negotiations aimed at determining its future.

Kosovo has been out of Serbia's control since 1999, when NATO air strikes forced Serbs to halt their brutal crackdown on separatist ethnic Albanians in the province - a war that killed 10,000 people and drove thousands more from their homes

Belgrade has proposed broad autonomy for Kosovo, but the ethnic Albanian majority - comprising 90 percent of Kosovo's population - insists on full independence.

The International Crisis Group thinktank issued a report Wednesday saying that by adopting the new constitution, Serbia "is setting the stage to continue its generation-long role as a source of instability in the Balkans."

Nicholas Whyte, the organization's Europe program director, wrote in the report that the aim was to show Serbian hostility to Kosovo's independence and create new legal barriers against it.

"The government is playing a game of high-stakes bluff," he wrote.

The need for a new Serbian constitution arose in June after tiny Montenegro, a partner in the former Yugoslav federation, opted for sovereignty, leaving Serbia on its own for the first time since 1918.

Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica, considered the author of the constitution, praised the charter, saying its adoption "is a historic moment for Serbia."

Saturday, November 4th, 2006

Subject:Chypre, la pomme de discorde
Time:10:07 am.
La crise entre l'Europe et la Turquie se jou sur la question chypriote

Mathilde Watine, Famille Chrétienne, 4 November 2006

« La question chypriote est le dossier le plus bloqué au sein de l'Union européenne », analyse Nicholas Whyte de l'International Crisis Group, un groupe de réflexion bruxellois spécialisé dans les zones de conflit.

En effet, le dossier chypriote, c'est trente ans de tensions, un véritable sac de nœuds.

L'île a vu son destin basculer en 1974. À Athènes, des colonels avaient organisé une tentative de coup d'État, dans le but de concrétiser l'union de Chypre avec la Grèce. Sous prétexte de protéger les Chypriotes turcs, les troupes d'Ankara avaient débarqué au nord, entraînant la partition de l'île: une division entre la République turque de Chypre-Nord (RTCN) reconnue uniquement par la Turquie et, au sud, la République de Chypre, territoire des chypriotes grecs.

L'Onu a essayé, en vain, de jouer le rôle de médiateur entre les deux communautés. En 2002, un plan de paix a été présenté par Kofi Annan, secrétaire général. Il prévoyait la réunification de l'île en un seul État dans lequel chacune des deux communautés administrerait sa zone. C'est sur cette base que s'est fait le référendum de 2004. Avec 75,83% des suffrages, les Chypriotes grecs rejettent massivement le plan, alors que les Chypriotes turcs le plébiscitent. Le 1er mai 2004, seule la partie grecque de l'île, qui avait sollicité son adhésion dès les années 1990, intègre l'Union européenne, à la grande frustration de la partie turque.

« Accorder l'adhésion de la partie grecque de l'île sans aucune condition de résultat lors du référendum a été une grosse erreur » explique Nicholas Whyte.

Aujourd'hui, cette situation pose des multiples problémes à l'Union. Deux positions s'affrontent à Bruxelles. L'Europe exige de la Turquie qu'elle respecte le traité d'union douanière (accords d'Ankara), élargi aux nouveaux membres de l'UE - dont Chypre - en juillet 2005; elle doit ainsi laisser bateaux et avions chypriotes grecs circuler librement. La Turquie, de son côté, estime avoir fait assez de concessions et n'entend pas changer sa position sur les questions commerciales.

Les discussions sont dans l'impasse, et « sans résolution de la question chypriote, l'adhésion de la Turquie n'est pas possible », conclut Nicholas Whyte

Tuesday, October 24th, 2006

Subject:Fragmented Bosnia urged to restart pro-EU reforms
Time:7:57 am.
From EUObserver

BRUSSELS -- The new Bosnian parliament must centralize political authority and police powers in Sarajevo.

This will be needed in order to get back on track with EU integration reforms, the EU and its international partners on Bosnia - the US and Russia - have urged, but old ethnic divisions threaten to hold the country back.

"Sufficient progress in a number of key reforms necessary for concluding negotiations on a Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with the European Union has not been made," the Peace Implementation Council concluded after a two day meeting last week.

The council - a political and security supervisory body made up of key international players - was put in place under the Dayton Agreement of 1995 in order to help end three years of bloody ethnic conflict in the fragmented, Western Balkan state.

The set of pro-centralization constitutional reforms was provisionally agreed by the country's eight main political parties in 2005 but rejected by parliament in April this year, holding back talks on the SAA - the first legal step to EU accession.

Now, fresh elections in October, bringing together the leaders of the Croat majority, the "Bosniak" Muslim minority and the Serb minority in a tripartite power-sharing structure, have given the reform agenda a second chance.

"The reform process came to a standstill before the elections and we found this to be unacceptable. The reform process must bere started not next month, not in January, but now," the UN and the EU's Bosnia envoy Christian Schwarz-Schilling said.

Old divisions

But while the newly-elected Croat and Bosniak leaders, Zeljko Komsić and Haris Silajdžić, are seen as generally favorable to pro-EU reforms, Serb leader Milorad Dodik continues to oppose any moves that might undermine the autonomous status of the ethnic-Serb enclave of Republika Srpska.

"The authorities in [Bosnia] and the international community have been underestimating the Republic of Srpska for years and this should end," Dodik told Belgrade daily Blic earlier this month.

Pro-centralization ideas coming from Komsić and Silajdžić during the recent election campaign even prompted Dodik to threaten that Republika Srpska would secede from Bosnia on the model of Montenegro's split from Serbia in May, sparking condemnation from EU diplomats.

"It is possible for these [Bosnian] party leaders to work together, if they realize that it is in their national interests to do so," analyst Nicholas Whyte from NGO the International Crisis Group, told EU Observer.

"To get Bosnia working, it is necessary to change the agenda of the nationalist parties, so that they pursue their agenda by strengthening the state structures rather than by attempting to weaken them."

New EU mandate

Meanwhile, the EU is gearing up to take over from the UN as the main security force and political supervisory body in the country from June 2007, with enlargement commissioner Olli Rehn and top EU diplomat Javier Solana telling EU foreign ministers last week that:

"[The EU] should play a role in promoting the rule of law, in particular with respect to police restructuring supporting the fight against organized crime and promoting full co-operation with the ICTY [the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague]."

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006

Subject:EU and US quash Serbia constitution Kosovo claim
Time:3:51 pm.
http://euobserver.com/9/22554

03.10.2006 - 14:18 CET | By Ekrem Krasniqi

Serbia's claim to sovereignty over Kosovo in its new draft constitution will not impact the UN's handling of Kosovo status talks, EU and US officials say, amid worries over the rise of radical politics in Belgrade.

"We are aware of the references on Kosovo that the constitution makes, but this is an issue which has to be clarified with the UN security council," EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana's spokeswoman told Balkans agency DTT-NET.COM on Monday (2 October).


French foreign ministry spokesman Jean-Baptise Mattei stated "The mentioning of Kosovo in the constitution doesn't put in question the current process led by [UN regional envoy] Martti Ahtisaari."

And US state department spokesman Tom Casey said in Washington on Monday that "neither party is going to unilaterally decide this. This is going to be something that's going to have to be worked out among them through this negotiated process that was mandated under the original UN security council resolution [1244]."

The statements come after Belgrade on Saturday put into play a new constitution which states in its preamble that Kosovo is "a constituent part of Serbia's territory."

The charter is to be ratified via referendum in late October despite ongoing UN-Serbia-Kosovo talks about granting Kosovo independence while protecting the Serb ethnic minority in the region.

"Serbian politicians know perfectly well that the status of Kosovo is being resolved through the UN. I don't think that the international community will be impressed by attempts to prejudge the issue," International Crisis Group analyst Nicholas Whyte said.

"I think that Kosovo is likely to become independent," he added, echoing similar remarks by senior UK and Danish diplomats in February and June this year.

Kosovo is formally part of Serbia but has been under UN administration since 1999, after NATO intervened to stop a Serb military crackdown on ethnic-Albanians living in the hilly, Western Balkan territory.

Radicalisation fears

The UN originally planned to resolve the Kosovo status question by the end of 2006, but the timing is becoming increasingly controversial as Serbia heads toward general elections that could see radical parties score gains from a Kosovo deal.

Moderate Serb politicians in the camp of president Boris Tadic, prime minister Vojislav Kostunica and the G17 party have warned Brussels that Kosovo sovereignty could see the radicals of Vojislav Seselj and ex-Milosevic supporters return to power amid a nationalist backlash.

Serbian national pride already took a hit in May when Montenegro split from its state union with Serbia to start separate EU accession talks, with Kosovo now remaining as the last figment of the Milosevic vision of a greater Serbia.

With no date set for the elections - Serb media speculation says December 2006 or Spring 2007 - Europe and the US are giving ambiguous messages on the Kosovo status timing for now.

"We [the EU] are not certain if the Kosovo settlement will be achieved in December," an EU diplomat told DTT-NET.COM on Tuesday, but the US continues to push for end-2006 as a UN security council deadline.

Speaking on a visit to Belgrade last week, US diplomat Daniel Fried said he doesn't see "any argument which demonstrates a delay would bring anything at all."

Friday, September 29th, 2006

Subject:Kosovo: Unruhen in geteilter Stadt
Time:8:07 pm.
Wiener Zeitung
Aufzählung: Die Brücke von Mitrovica war nur kurz geöffnet.
UN-Verhandler Ahtisaari schlägt im November Status vor.

Belgrad/Mitrovica. Im Kosovo kam es am späten Montagabend in Mitrovica kurz nach Öffnung der Brücke über den Fluss Ibar wieder zu Unruhen. Laut Augenzeugenberichten entwickelte sich an der Brücke, die den serbischen Nordvom albanischen Südteil trennt, eine Massenschlägerei, nachdem etwa 15 junge Albaner in den Nordteil gekommen waren. Es kam zu keinen schweren Verletzungen. Im Lauf der Nacht auf Dienstag wurde zudem ein von zurückgekehrten Serben bewohntes Haus in Istok im Westen des Kosovo beschossen. Verletzt wurde niemand. In Mitrovica sperrten lokale Serben die Brücke zunächst mit Stacheldraht. Im Lauf der Nacht schloss die UN-Verwaltung (Unmik) den Übergang auch offiziell für den Zivilverkehr wieder.

Die Brücke war erst am Montag nach einem Monat wieder geöffnet worden. Die Unmik hatte sie nach einem Bombenanschlag auf ein serbisches Kaffee mit neun Verletzten gesperrt. Sie verwaltet den Kosovo seit Ende des Krieges 1999.

Die Unruhen finden vor dem Hintergrund der ungelösten Kosovo-Statusfrage statt. Die serbische Seite sieht den Kosovo als Provinz Serbiens, während die albanische Seite auf Unabhängigkeit besteht. Seit Jahresbeginn verhandeln die beiden Seiten in Wien über den zukünftigen Status.

Der UN-Sicherheitsrat erhofft sich eine Lösung bis Ende des Jahres. Dies ist aufgrund stockender Verhandlungen aber unwahrscheinlich. Beide Seiten zeigen kaum Kompromissbereitschaft. Der US-Ministerialdirektor für Europa, Daniel Fried, fordert eine baldige Lösung. "Ich kenne kein Argument für eine Verzögerung", sagt er.

Uno-Chefverhandler Martti Ahtisaari wird laut Medienberichten im November seinen Lösungsvorschlag präsentieren. Der Leiter der "International Crisis Group", Nicholas White, erwartet "eine Art beschränkter Unabhängigkeit." Der serbische Premier Vojislav Koštunica möchte dem zuvorkommen und am Samstag eine neue Verfassung erlassen. In dieser soll der Kosovo als Bestandteil Serbiens in der Präambel verankert werden.

Monday, September 25th, 2006

Subject:Nezavisnost je izvesna
Time:8:10 pm.
Večernje Novosti

Željko PANTELIĆ, 25. septembar 2006

Od stalnog dopisnika Brisel

-JEDINI scenario koji kru‘i zgradom Ujedinjenih nacija predviđa novurezolucija Saveta bezbednosti, koja ne bi eksplicitno pominjala ninezavisnost Kosova, ni suverenitet Srbije, a ostavila bi prostorzemljama članicama UN za bilateralno priznavanje nezavisnosti Kosova.Kosovo bi prvo priznale manje bitne zemlje, a zatim SAD, EU i drugi -ovako, u razgovoru za "Novosti", posle povratka iz Njujorka, najnovijeviđenje raspleta kosmetskog čvora tumači Nikolas Vajt,direktor za Evropu "Međunarodne krizne grupe", nevladine organizacije,čiji je počasni predsedavajući upravo Marti Ahtisari, specijalnipregovarač UN za Kosovo i Metohiju.

Portparol Ahtisarija tvrdida je on već dobio uputstvo Kontakt-grupe da izradi predlog za konačanstatus Kosova. Kada očekujete da Ahtisari izađe sa tim predlogom i štaće biti u njemu?
- Ahtisari će ubrzati svoj rad u sledećim nedeljamai predlo‘iće rešenje za konačan status Kosova u novembru. Nema sumnjeda će predlog konačnog statusa podrazumevati neku vrstu ograničenenezavisnosti za Kosovo. To će biti svojevrsni nacrt ustava Kosova, kojiće predviđati vrlo precizno međunarodno civilno i vojno prisustvo ubudućnosti i ključne principe.

Šta će biti sa pravima Srba u tom predlogu statusa KiM?
-Mislim da će biti vrlo jasno utvrđen program decentralizacije, opštinesa srpskom većinom imaće velika ovlašćenja, ali ona neće uključivatipoliciju i pravosuđe. Biće predviđena i mogućnost direktnogfinansiranja srpskih opština na Kosovu iz Beograda, kao i zaštitakulturne i crkvene baštine.
Verujete da takvo rešenje za KiM neće da destabilizuje Srbiju?
-Problem stabilizacije Srbije je više uslovljen Haškim tribunalom, apitanje statusa Kosova je međunarodni problem. Nema sumnji da bi Srbijitrebalo nešto dati za uzvrat, i to vrlo brzo, poput olakšavanja viznogre‘ima, pristupa Partnerstvu za mir, potpisivanja SSP. To je velikanacionalna trauma koju ne mogu da reše milijarde dolara. Jednostavno,Srbija mora to da pre‘ivi i nastavi dalje.




AMERIČKI IGRAČ
Da li je Ahtisari američki igrač u pregovorima o konačnom statusu Kosova i Metohije?
-Ne, apsolutno ne. Istini za volju, njih više ne interesuje Balkan, kaoregion. Oni su sada posvećeni drugim problemima na planeti i mislim dapojedini ljudi na Kosovu ne mogu da se pomire sa tim.


VAŠA STVAR
Skupština Srbije odlučila je da KiM u preambuli ustava bude navedenokao neotuđivi deo Srbije. Ima li to ikakvog uticaja na pregovore?
-U preambuli ustava mo‘ete da stavite šta hoćete jer je toneobavezujuće. Srbija mo‘e da ne priznaje Kosovo dugo, ali ne i zauvek.

Friday, September 22nd, 2006

Subject:Will The Kremlin Back Independence?
Time:8:18 pm.

As the drive for independence grows in the Serbian province of Kosovo, the international community is speculating on how Russia, a veto-wielding member of the UN Security Council, will act. On September 22, Nicholas Whyte, director of the International Crisis Group's Europe Program, gave a briefing on the subject at RFE/RL's Washington, D.C., office. He speculated on what the Kremlin's "price" might be for agreeing to Kosovo's separation from Serbia.

 Listen to the entire briefing (about 45 minutes):
Real Audio  Windows Media


Subject:Russia May Hold the Key in Determining Kosovo Independence
Time:8:17 pm.
(RFE/RL)
(Washington, DC -- September 22, 2006) Russia's decision on whether to support or veto a new UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution could determine Kosovo's future status as an independent state, according to an expert on the Balkans. Nicholas Whyte, Director of the International Crisis Group's Europe Program, told an RFE/RL audience last week that as negotiations over Kosovo continue, severa lfactors could affect Kosovo's claim for independence. Russia's position on whether the UNSC resolution is "acceptable" may be the determiningone, Whyte said.

Although Russia has shown interest in the past in the status of Kosovo, Whyte said Russia's current motives are unknown. As a result, Whyte said, "all we can do is watch the Kremlin" to see wha twill be "the price for unblocking the situation" regarding the territory's final status. Whyte noted that speculation ranges from Putin agreeing to a "declaration" on the precedent set by a resolution of Kosovo's status and its application in conflict zones such as North Ossetia and Abkhazia, to a demand for "enhanced rights for Russian s[residing in] Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania," to debate over the "future of Ukraine."

In speaking about the ongoing UN-brokered negotiations between Serbian and Kosovar Albanian representatives in Vienna, Whyte acknowledged that the two sides appeared to be deadlocked, with the Serbian delegation maintaining that Kosovo should never become independent while the Kosovar Albanians vow never to return to Serbia nrule. Yet, there are those "in the region", Whyte said, who "accept that [independence] will come and understand there will be a political price" to be paid for this independence. Much of the negotiations process, Whyte said, has focused on decentralization and the rights of municipalities in a future Kosovo, and "not the status question." Whyte expressed confidence in UN Special Envoy Marti Ahtisaari, who will make his recommendations to the UNSC within the next two to three weeks.

"The situation is very different from three years ago," Whyte said, expressing his belief that the UNSC will support independence for Kosovo, because "it is impossible to maintain a United Nations protectorate against the wishes of Kosovo's population." At the same time, Whyte said, the international community must keep an active presence there through police and judicial forces, particularly in "northern Kosovo."

The fundamental challenge that faces an independent Kosovo, Whyte said, "Is how it treats its minorities." Whyte said that Kosovo's success or failure will be judged by its ability to integrate its minority Serb population and assure them of their rights as citizens of the new state.

Tuesday, September 19th, 2006

Subject:Albanian majority walks line on independence, Serbs
Time:6:38 pm.
By David R. Sands
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
September 19, 2006

Kosovo's Albanian majority will face a test of its strength as the province pushes for independence by the end of the year, while reassuring the minority Serbs they will have a home in the new country, a top adviser to Kosovo's prime minister said in an interview.

Naser Rugova, nephew of the late Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova and founder of a reformist faction within the ruling Democratic League of Kosovo, said during a Washington visit last week that the United States and its European allies are pressing for signs from the ethnic-Albanian leaders they will not take revenge against Serbs and other minorities.

"Our first priority has to be to make Kosovo into a normal nation, an environment in which any citizen can live freely and in peace," said Mr. Rugova, a senior policy aide in the office of Kosovo Prime Minister Agim Ceku. "I think the United States and the international community are looking for more courageous action from our side to show this."

Albatros Rexhaj, an adviser to Mr. Rugova, said that integrating ethnic Serbs -- who make up less than 10 percent of the province's population of 2 million -- into an independent Kosovo "will be our No. 1 national security challenge."

U.S. and European troops remain in Kosovo under a U.N.-led civil administration seven years after a NATO bombing campaign drove forces under Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic from the province. A series of "final status" talks in Vienna, Austria, this year have produced virtually no progress, with Belgrade resisting the growing international consensus that Kosovo will secede.

Albert Rohan, the U.N. envoy overseeing the talks, said yesterday the prospect of a negotiated deal is "increasingly slim," raising the odds that an imposed settlement at year's end may be in the works.

"We could talk for another 10 years and not change anything," Mr. Rohan told reporters.

Nicholas Whyte, a Balkans analyst at the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, said the "fundamental problem" facing Kosovo is the question of the Serbian-minority enclaves, most located in the province's north and enjoying strong ties to hard-line elements in Belgrade.

While some form of independence for Kosovo now seems inevitable, he said, there is a danger Kosovo could become the next Cyprus, meaning it could become a functionally divided land with an ethnic enclave protected by a powerful neighbor. Hard-line nationalists in Serbia are resisting partition, and a final deal that goes to the U.N. Security Council must avoid a Russian veto.

"Disaster can be avoided, but there has to be much more outreach from the Albanian majority than we have seen to date," Mr. Whyte said.

Mr. Rugova, a medical doctor, boasts one of the most potent names in Kosovo politics. His uncle is seen as the father of Kosovo independence and was the province's first president when he succumbed to cancer at the beginning of the year. His death has set off a leadership scramble that is still being sorted out.

The younger Mr. Rugova said he founded his "Reforma" movement to invigorate the ruling party, and turned aside questions of whether he plans to run for office himself.

He said U.N. peacekeepers may have to stay in Kosovo for up to five years after independence, despite an improving security situation on the ground. He also predicted that relations with Belgrade can improve once independence is achieved.

"After that, we will all be living with a new reality," he said. "We will have no other choice than to create good neighborly relations."

Wednesday, August 30th, 2006

Subject:EU neighbours drifting into war, Brussels warns
Time:7:42 am.
29.08.2006 - 17:31 CET | By Andrew Rettman
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Brussels has voiced alarm at the mounting risk of open warfare in the EU's southeast neighbours - Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan - amid European plans to sign new cooperation pacts and build new pipelines in the region.

"Negative trends are coming together, the combination of which is, frankly, alarming," external relations commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said at an experts' forum in Slovenia on Monday (28 August), citing a recent upswing in aggressive rhetoric and arms spending.

"Defence spending is going through the roof," she stated, adding "there is a serious danger of the rhetoric lowering the threshold for war" in reference to the so-called "frozen conflicts" of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia and Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan.

The three regions tore away from Georgia and Azerbaijan in three separate conflicts in the early 1990s which together claimed some 35,000 lives and displaced hundreds of thousands before the various warring parties ceased fire after reaching tense impasses.

Local diplomats say potshots are still exchanged "daily" on the Nagorno-Karabakh border and "monthly" on the borders of the Georgian territories, with one woman shot dead in fighting between Georgian troops and Abkhazian separatists in the Kodori Gorge in July.

The International Crisis Group's (ICG) Europe director, Nicholas Whyte, shared Ms Ferrero-Waldner's analysis, saying "That's an extremely reasonable concern...they are preparing for war."

He cited potential Georgian military aggression in Abkhazia and potential Azeri aggression in Nagorno-Karabakh as the most likely threats to peace in the short term.

Preparing for war
Georgia's military budget proportionally increased faster than any other country's in the world last year, he stated, while Azerbaijan has boasted that its military budget in 2007 will be the size of the total budget of Armenia - its main aggressor in the conflict over the ethnic-Armenian dominated Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Georgian and Azerbaijani diplomats in Brussels both say they are committed to diplomatic conflict resolution under the various multinational formats at work in the region, but Tbilisi sees Abkhazia and South Ossetia as Russian-run mafia enclaves while Baku makes no secret of its growing impatience with the status quo.

"[Displaced] Azerbaijani people have been waiting for the liberation of the occupied territories, to return to their occupied lands for 15 years," an Azeri diplomat told EUobserver. "It's ridiculous to wait for ever, to stand and do nothing."

Russia is an added complicating factor in the region, with between 2,000 and 3,000 Russian "peacekeeping" troops stationed in Abkhazia and South Ossetia as well as significant numbers in Armenia, with Moscow issuing thousands of Russian passports to the Georgian separatists.

If fighting breaks out, the ICG's Mr Whyte believes both Georgia and Azerbaijan "are underestimating" the severity of the international and Russian reaction, with Baku also underestimating the tactical defensibility of Nagorno-Karabakh by an inferior force.

EU goals at risk
Ms Ferrero-Waldner is planning to visit the region in October to signpolitical and economic "action plans" for closer EU integration, with the Georgian and Armenian action plan texts set to "take note that [these countries] have expressed their European aspirations" for future EU membership.

The texts are also set to give Georgia and Armenia the option to formally "align themselves" with "some" future EU statements on common foreign and security policy topics.

But the EU commissioner warned that sepratism could derail the integration process, saying on 28 August that "the most important impediments to the region's development are the frozen conflicts."

South Caucasus is strategically important to the EU, with Azerbaijani oil already flowing from Baku via Georgia and Turkey to Europe through the so-called BCT pipeline, and with plans afoot for major gas pipelines to the EU from the Caspian Sea basin in the next five to ten years.

Western analysts agree that the energy income to supplier state Azerbaijan and transit state Georgia is helping to buy extra arms and creating a bullish atmosphere however. "Oil is not helping to lubricate conflict resolution," Mr Whyte said.

Wednesday, July 26th, 2006

Subject:Финансовая подпитка Сабины Фрейзер закончилась?
Time:5:20 pm.
"Небезызвестный директор Кавказского Проекта Международной Кризисной группы (МКГ) Сабина Фрейзер, долгое время с энергией, достойной лучшего применения, мешавшая карты процесса урегулирования карабахского конфликта и попортившая кровь посредников и представителей сторон конфликта, кажется, умерила свой пыл. Поняла ли она бессмысленность своих суетных заявлений, суть которых сводится к тому, что Армения должна уступить Азербайджану "оккупированные" территории и обсуждать с ним о статусе Нагорного Карабаха? Или просто кончилась финансовая подпитка ее проекта со стороны нефтяных компаний-собственниц нефтепровода Баку-Тбилиси-Джейхан - ведь она вовсю отрабатывала свой гонорар, мутя воду в и так непростом вопросе урегулирования конфликта и пытаясь поймать в этой воде свою рыбку? А может всю Кризисную группу перебросили на Иран?" Об этом заявил ИА REGNUM депутат Национального Собрания НКР, сопредседатель партии "Свободная Родина" Артур Товмасян, комментируя последние заявления директора Кавказского Проекта Международной Кризисной группы (МКГ) Сабины Фрейзер и директора Европейской программы Николаса Уайта.

Депутат отметил, что при всем при этом сегодня Фрейзер пытается делать хорошую мину при плохой игре, заявляя о том, что хотя "усилия посредников (она причисляет себя к ним?!) оказались безрезультатными, международное сообщество не позволит событиям развиваться бесконтрольно - слишком многое поставлено на карту". "Что это? Попытка снять с себя ответственность или просто демагогия чистой воды? Г-же Фрейзер остается лишь посоветовать не провоцировать стороны на эскалацию конфликта, а дать им возможность вместе с сегодняшними и желательно непредвзятыми посредниками самим решать проблемы... А куда исчез Ален Делетроз? Тоже вопрос не риторический", - сказал Артур Товмасян.

Постоянный адрес новости: www.regnum.ru/news/679575.html
13:37 26.07.2006

Financial support of Sabine Freizer is over?

"Well-known International Crisis Group Caucasus Project Director Sabine Freizer, who has been disturbing Karabakh conflict settlement for a long time, spending much energy, which should be used for better purposes, as well as the conflict’s mediators and parties, seems to have restrained her ardor. Has she recognized inanity of her vain statements, aimed at requesting Armenia to cede ‘occupied territories’ to Azerbaijan and to discuss with it status of Nagorno Karabakh? Or was financial support of her project from the direction of oil companies-owners of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline – she worked off her salary, stirring up trouble in uneasy question of conflict settlement in order to derive benefit from it? May it be that the whole Crisis Group has been transferred to Iran?" NKR National Assembly MP, Free Motherland Party co-Chair Artur Tovmasyan stated to REGNUM, commenting on last statements of ICG CP Director Sabine Freizer and European Program Director Nicolas White.

The MP stressed that despite all the facts Freizer tries now to put a good face on things, stating that "mediators’ efforts (does she add herself to them?) turned out to be fruitless; international community will not allow events to develop without any control – too much has been staked." "What does it mean? An attempt to abdicate all responsibility or pure demagogy? Mrs. Freizer should only be advised not to provoke conflict parties to escalate the conflict; but to give them possibility to settle their problems themselves together with current and, it is desirable, unbiased mediators… Where has Alain Deletroz disappeared? It is not a rhetorical question too," Artur Tovmasyan said.

Subject:International Representatives on New Government
Time:3:15 pm.
We will not interfere with the composition of the new government. That is the job of the mandate-holder and DUI should behave constructively whether it will be part of the government or in opposition. This was the message that US Ambassador Gillian Milovanovic delivered to the DUI leader Ali Ahmeti at their meeting on Monday in the party seat. According to unconfirmed information, yesterday she visited the VMRO-DPMNE seat as well, but it is not known whether she urged for the negotiations with DUI to continue. Sources from DUI claim that the ambassador agreed with them that the talks between VMRO-DPMNE and DUI should continue, but they didn’t want to say if they received support for their position that the talks must end with an agreement for a coalition. Ahmeti took the opportunity to personally complain about the “unprincipled coalition between VMRO-DPMNE and DPA, which was made to ensure one more MP for the Macedonian party”. DUI issued a press release after the meeting saying that Ahmeti assured Milovanovic that DUI will have a constructive role in the future as it did in the past four years. The OSCE Ambassador Carlos Pais also had meetings with the VMRO-DPMNE leader Nikola Gruevski and Agron Buxhaku, a senior DUI representative, who told Pais that the rules of democracy are universal and they should apply equally everywhere. DUI didn’t reveal what Pais’ position on the interrupted talks was.

In another development, in an interview for BBC in Macedonian Nicholas Whyte from the International Crisis Group said that the tactics which DUI uses for entering the new government will not bear fruit. “I think that the tactics used for getting in the government are not helpful and will not convince anyone that they are the adequate government partner. I have to say that in this stage I cannot see how they would be part of the government coalition,” Whyte pointed out. Asked whether there is some kind of threat or political incorrectness if DUI remains in opposition, Whyte said that there should be no risk if some people are in the government and others are not. “Everyone should accept that in democracy sometimes you win and sometimes you lose the elections. It must be clear that if everyone is committed to peaceful methods of political functioning, that means that certain actions and rhetoric are ruled out,” he added. Whyte further said that the issue of Kosovo’s status shouldn’t be linked with the inclusion of DPA and DUI in the government and with the stability of Macedonia.

Tuesday, July 25th, 2006

Subject:WHITE: DECISIONS ABOUT KOSOVO MADE ELSEWHERE
Time:3:13 pm.
Commenting on Vienna meeting, the head of the International Crisis Group (ICG) for the Balkans, Nicholas White said that it is very important to have a direct dialogue on the key issue-the issue of status, yet he does not believe that a possible agreement can be excepted.

White accepts the fact that 'the decisions are made somewhere else' but that the meeting of Monday is important, because it ensured that the voice of all is heard in the process.

Speaking about the further steps after Vienna high-level meeting, White said that this will depend on the dynamic of Vienna meeting, but also on the fact if one or another side is "not interested to listen the interlocutor."

According to him, in this case, a readiness of the international community to organize other meetings of this nature is not expected. He added that there will be some "pause that will serve as reflection period and in September will start a second phase."

"Unfortunately, there are no chances that Serbia agrees with e reasonable solution. In such circumstances, the international community should find a solution in the other way and this is not a surprise," said White.

Subject:Калашњиковите не се позиција на ДУИ
Time:12:35 pm.
Демократската унија за интеграција и натаму очекува да биде повикана во новата коалициска влада во Македонија и покрај изјавите од ВМРО-ДПМНЕ дека Демократската партија на Албанците ќе ги претставува етничките Албанци во владата.

БиБиСи: Дали се уште гледате „отворена врата" за вклучување и на ДУИ во владината коалиција на Груевски, или владиниот кабинет според вас е веќе затворен?

„Мислам дека тактиките што се користат за да се влезе во владата не се од помош и нема да променат и да убедат некого дека тие се соодветен владин партнер. Така што морам да речам дека во оваа фаза не можам да видам како би влегле во владината коалиција?

БиБиСи: Сметате ли дека постои некаква опасност или политичка некоректност, ДУИ да остане во опозиција?

„Мислам дека секој треба да прифати дека во демократијата некогаш се добиваат, друг пат се губат изборите. Мислам дека мора да биде јасно дека ако сите се посветени на мирни методи на политичко дејствување тогаш тоа значи дека некои акции и некоја реторика се исклучени.Значи треба да е апсолутно јасно дека не би требало да има ризик доколку неки луѓе се во владата а други не."

БиБиСи: Се споменуваше дека е важно двата главни политички блока на етничките Албанци да бидат во македонската влада, поради стабилноста во земјата, но и поради преговорите што се во тек за решавање на стстусот наКосово. Има ли основа во ова?

„Прво, прашањето за Косово е веројатно помалку релевантно за многу луѓе во Македонија и јас верувам дека политички овие две прашања не се тесно поврзани и оти нема вкрстување меѓу нив. Нема Албанци од Македонија во моментов вклучени во преговорите за Косово кои се одвиваат во Виена. Од друга страна, на прашањето за тоа кој треба да седи во владата - сосема е јасно дека на Македонија и треба стабилна и компетентна влада. Груевски ќе има тешка задача да ја состави, има широка палета луѓе за во неговиот кабинет.Според мене, не е задолжително точно дека ако во владата влезат повеќе партии, дека таа ќе биде и поквалитетна."

БиБиСи: Минатата недела медиумите споменуваа „калашникови" како реакција од ДУИ, доколку изостане од владата?

„Дознав дека тоа не е позиција на партиското раководство, што е многу важно“, вели Николас Вајт од Меѓународната кризна група, во интервју за македонската редакција на БиБиСи.

Friday, July 21st, 2006

Subject: L’interactivité au service des Serbes du Kosovo
Time:2:52 pm.
(Vanessa Wittkowski in cafebabel.com.)

Des Serbes ont produit un cd-rom pour faire valoir les arguments politiques en faveur de l’autonomie de la province. Pédagogie ou propagande ?

Alors que les négociations sur le statut du Kosovo patinent depuis février 2006, il aura fallu plus d’un an à une équipe de trois bénévoles pour produire un cd-rom intitulé « Kosovo 2006 : atteindre un compromis ». Sa couverture présente un œuf fissuré, trônant sur un coquetier décoré par moitiés par les drapeaux albanais et serbe. Le cd-rom, édité en anglais, a été développé sous le patronnage du think tank en faveur de l’intégration serbe Institut 4S. Il est divisé en 3 parties distinctes : la première expose les faits historiques jusqu’en 1999 ; la deuxième présente un état des lieux du Kosovo sous les Nations Unies ; la dernière analyse les perspectives pour le futur statut de la région, privilégiant le retour à l’autonomie, plutôt que l'indépendance totale ou l'administration par l'ONU.

Malgré leur jeune âge, les volontaires du projet, basés à Bruxelles et en Serbie, ne sont pas des inconnus. Aleksandar Mitic, le directeur du projet, fut ainsi le seul correspondant de l’Agence France Presse (AFP) à rester durant les bombardements de l’OTAN au Kosovo en 1999. Son frère, Boris Mitic, un ancien journaliste, est aujourd’hui un brillant cinéaste qui accumule les prix durant les festivals de cinéma.

Contre mauvaise fortune, bon cœur

Aleksandar Mitic ne cache pas que ce cd-rom est plutôt pro-serbe. « Ce n’est pas une encyclopédie neutre. Certains arguments seront vraisemblablement réfutés par les Albanais du Kosovo ». Il s’agit de présenter les arguments serbes en faveur d’un statut d’autonomie du Kosovo, à la lumière de l’héritage et la mémoire collective serbe.

Ainsi lors du visionnage, on apprend que 120 000 Serbes du Kosovo vivraient dans des sortes de ghettos, harcelés au quotidien : les enfants, prêtres ou passagers de transports en commun se verraient ainsi systématiquement accompagnés d’une escorte militaire. Les auteurs du cd-rom affirment qu’accorder l’indépendance au Kosovo équivaudrait à ouvrir la boite de Pandore, ouvrant la voie à de nouveaux conflits, un peu plus loin, dans la région du Caucase. La Russie pourrait ainsi légitimer l'assimilation des territoires de l’Abkhazie, d’Ossétie du Sud, de la Transnistrie et de parties du Kazakhstan. Et perdre, au même titre, la Tchétchénie, le Daghestan ou d’autres régions à majorité musulmane.

Ce cd-rom se veut plutôt stratégique : au lieu d’être diffusé uniquement sur le site de l’Institut4s, cet outil sera remis en main propre aux acteurs clé du processus, prenant ainsi la forme d’un lobbying. Ce produit témoigne également de la volonté des Serbes d’être impliqués et entendus durant les négociations sur le statut final du Kosovo, lancées en février 2006.

Certains verront toutefois dans cette initiative une forme de propagande. Dans un contexte de crise, il pourrait même être considéré comme une sorte de provocation. Ses instigateurs se justifient en invoquant l’aspect informatif et pédagogique du cd-rom.

Les Serbes incompris ?

Selon Aleksandar Mitic, les Serbes n’ont pas toujours excellé dans l’art de la communication et ont échoué à exposer des arguments convaincants. Nicholas Whyte, le responsable du département Europe de l’ONG International Crisis Group, actuellement en visite au Kosovo, reconnaît que les arguments venant de Belgrade n’aident pas le peuple albanais du Kosovo à envisager les effets bénéfiques d’une réintégration. Par ailleurs, le leg de Milosevic pèse toujours sur les Serbes qui auront du mal à faire entendre leur voix.

L’initiative du cd-rom entend donc rétablir l’équilibre entre les intérêts des Albanais et des Serbes du Kosovo tout en donnant aux représentants serbes des arguments modérés sur la position de leur patrie. Enfin, les concepteurs espèrent que cet outil original permettra à la population serbe de s’approprier le débat de manière pédagogique et pratique.

L’avenir dira si cette initiative n’est pas un peu trop tardive. Car si les Serbes sont prêts au compromis, comme le souligne Slobodan Samardzic, membre de l’équipe des négociations et conseiller auprès du Premier Ministre serbe, Vojislav Kostunica, c’est peut-être justement parce que les autorités perçoivent la perspective d’un Kosovo indépendant comme étant de plus en plus probable. Jan Marinus Wiersma, député européen, membre de la commission des Affaires Etrangères, déclarait ainsi qu’ « en Serbie, les politiciens sont tenus de faire passer le message que le pays doit se préparer à la possibilité d’un Kosovo indépendant ». Espérons que ce cd-rom pourra lancer les débats.

Subject:UNSC set to break Kosovo status quo
Time:12:30 pm.
With talks between Belgrade and Pristina over Kosovo's final status set to fail, the UNSC is ready to make the decision itself by the year's end, a diplomat says.

By Ekrem Krasniqi in Brussels for ISN Security Watch (20/07/06)

If Kosovo's ethnic Albanian leaders and the authorities in Belgrade fail to reach an agreement over the status of Serbia's UN-administered province of Kosovo by the end of the year, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will make the decision on its own, an EU diplomat told ISN Security Watch.

And Kosovo's independence looks like a done deal, especially with Russia seemingly on board at the UNSC, though not without its own game plan.

UN-mediated Kosovo status talks between Belgrade and Pristina are expected to take place later this month, but EU diplomats in Brussels have said that if the two sides failed to reach an agreement, the UNSC would step in and make it for them.

"The Contact Group prefers an agreed solution," but if that does not happen, "then the Security Council will have to take up its responsibilities," a European diplomat told ISN Security Watch on condition of anonymity.

UN special envoy for Kosovo talks, former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari, is trying to organize the first high-level meeting between Kosovo and Serb leaders in Vienna on 24 July, hoping to bring in Serbian President Boris Tadic, who has already agreed to attend, and Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica, who has not net responded, and their counterparts from Kosovo, Fatmir Sejdiu and Agim Ceku.

The meeting in Vienna would open the second phase of the talks on the future of Kosovo.

Since the beginning of the year, negotiations on decentralization (the creation of more municipalities for the Serbian minority and the shift of power from the central government to municipal authorities), the economy (the privatization of Kosovo's enterprises, property rights, citizens savings, pensions, etc) and culture (ensuring the cultural heritage and religious sites of Serbs) failed to bring about any significant results.

But even if partial agreement could be reached on some of these issues, there is little chance that Pristina and Belgrade would agree on dueling status proposals, and there are not any new options on the table: Kosovo's ethnic Albanians will settle for nothing less than independence, while Belgrade insists that independence is not an option and is willing to go only as far as granting the province greater autonomy.

What is most likely to happen is that the Vienna meeting will serve only as a confirmation of the failed status talks, which will allow the "Kosovo File" to be sent directly to the UNSC to decide on how best to end the status quo.

The US and Britain are pushing for the independence, with US President George W Bush saying that the solution should reflect the demand of the majority, but must also respect the rights of the minorities.

Washington says the Kosovo status chapter must be closed as soon as possible, as the status quo can no longer be maintained and any further delays keep the economy in limbo and could lead to renewed unrest among ethnic Albanians.

Implications for Belgrade

But handing the decision over to the UNSC - which is likely to result in a declaration of independence for Kosovo later this year or early next year - could be problematic.

One question Western leaders will have to answer is how to sell Kosovo's independence to the Serbian people to avoid internal instability. This comes at a time when radicals are leading the polls with a 40 percent popularity rating. Declaring an independent Kosovo would certainly give radicals a further boost and could be the downfall of the current government.

The Serbian leadership is hoping to convince the UNSC to delay its decision by a few months, at least until after elections, which are tentatively planned for the end of this year.

Serbian President Tadic, a moderate who on several occasions has acknowledged that Kosovo was moving toward independence, said after meeting with top EU officials Tuesday in Brussels that he would prefer extraordinary elections in Serbia before Kosovo's status was decided.

But over all, what Belgrade really wants is a temporary solution for Kosovo, such as "essential autonomy" inside Serbia, and a postponement of final status for up to 20 years - an idea that already has been categorically rejected by Western governments.

The question of Russia

For the West, the political implications for Belgrade seem to hold less importance than Russia's demands, however. After all, elections will come and go in Serbia and regardless, Belgrade will have to make a touch decision between holding on to Kosovo and pursuing its path of Euro-Atlantic integration.

Russia, on the other hand, would use Kosovo independence to win the backing of Western governments for independence for Georgia's breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and Moldova's breakaway region of Transdneistria.

Russian authorities have been quite vocal about the precedent Kosovo's independence could set.

At least for now, Britain and the US have maintained that a comparison cannot be drawn between Kosovo and Georgia and Moldova, but that could change as Kosovo's independence would require Russia's vote on the UNSC - a vote it is not likely to give without some assurance of a similar deal for South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Transdneistria.

In Brussels, the ISN Security Watch's EU source echoed sentiments in London and Washington, saying that "all issues should be resolved according to their specifications," but he said he doubted Russia would move to bloc the UNSC vote on Kosovo's final status.

Russia's apparent readiness to accept Kosovo’s independence in light of the precedent it would set represents a marked change in Moscow's position.

Earlier, Russia had rejected the idea of independence for Kosovo as it feared it would strengthen the case for the independence of its Northern Caucasus republic of Chechnya.

But now, diplomats are cautiously optimistic that Russia will not abandon Contact Group statements saying that the solution for Kosovo "must be acceptable to Kosovo people” - a statement Western diplomats interpret as meaning "acceptable to the ethnic Albanian majority," or independence.

Observers also believe that with Russia on board - though it is not clear if Moscow's demands will be met - Kosovo independence is a done deal.

“The Russians believe that Kosovo’s independence will help their case in the three regions,” Nicholas Whyte from the International Crisis Group (ICG) told ISN Security Watch.

There have been diplomatic rumblings in Brussels that the UNSC was planning to "invite" member nations to recognize Kosovo's independence in the fall, though this has not been independently confirmed.

But if the West fails to agree on Russia's hoped-for concessions, complications could erupt at the UNSC, he suggested.

Since Moscow's change in position, the Serbian leadership has been lobbying other Contact Group members, including China, to vote against Kosovo independence. But so far, those lobbying efforts seem to have made little headway.

Regional implications

Since Montenegro's declaration of independence from the state union with Serbia in May, Bosnian Serbs have stepped up their calls for a similar right to self-determination - a call that has been categorically rejected by Western officials. The Dayton Peace Agreement that ended the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia split the country into two administrative entities, the Bosniak- and Croat-dominated Federation entity and the Bosnian Serb-dominated Republika Srpska entity.

The Serbian government has repeatedly warned that a declaration of independence for Kosovo could threaten regional stability in the western Balkans.

But EU and US officials have remained adamant that whatever the solution for Kosovo, the borders of Bosnia and Herzegovina cannot be changed.

Some also have warned of potential consequences for Serbia's internal borders, with Serbs in northern Kosovo threatening partition, which could in turn provoke the ethnic Albanian majority in the south of Serbia (Presevo Valley) to seek to join a newly independent Kosovo. Others warn that it could also incite new tensions in Macedonia (the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), where the Albanian minority forms a quarter of the population.

The Contact Group has made it clear that an independent Kosovo could not join any parts or countries in the region, referring to northwestern Macedonia, southern Serbia and Albania.
EU boosts Kosovo independence hopes

On Monday, Kosovo's independence was boosted further when EU officials released a report to member states' foreign ministers signaled the bloc would begin to treat Kosovo as an independent state.

The report says Kosovo is to move toward the EU as an independent country from Serbia by building bilateral relations as Brussels does with other aspiring countries of the western Balkans region.

The EU’s foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, and Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said the 25-nation bloc expected Kosovo authorities to work hard on meeting the criteria set for accession. They also said Brussels should be ready to grant to Kosovo all contractual relations for this purpose.

Once the final status has been decided the EU will take over the mandate of the United Nation's Mission (UNMIK) and is to supervise Kosovo's "limited" independence, while NATO will continue to run the security mission, but with reduced troop numbers.

As such, EU member states will assume the main role in Kosovo, with a European police mission that is expected to help local authorities provide security guarantees for minorities.

Thursday, July 20th, 2006

Subject:Посредники вышли из карабахской игры: России, Европе и США нужно заявить о неприемлемости войны
Time:4:56 pm.
(op-ed on Nagorno-Karabakh by me and Sabine Freizer, in Время новостей)

Вопреки ожиданиям в Санкт-Петербурге на саммите «большой восьмерки» так и не состоялись переговоры между президентами Армении и Азербайджана Робертом Кочаряном и Ильхамом Алиевым. Международные посредники в течение 12 лет безуспешно пытались найти пути урегулирования кровопролитного конфликта между Арменией и Азербайджаном за контроль над Нагорным Карабахом. Сегодня американским, французским и российским посредникам пришлось отправиться восвояси, а противоборствующие стороны готовятся к возобновлению войны.

После распада СССР в Закавказье разгорелось несколько вооруженных конфликтов, но наибольших масштабов и ожесточенности они достигли в Нагорном Карабахе -- области Азербайджана преимущественно с армянским населением. К моменту заключения перемирия в 1995 году там погибло около 30 тыс. человек и свыше миллиона человек с обеих сторон подверглись насильственному переселению. Поддерживаемые Арменией вооруженные силы Нагорного Карабаха до сих пор удерживают семь азербайджанских районов.

За десятилетие противоборствующим сторонам не удалось подписать ни одного соглашения, которое бы приблизило политическое урегулирование. Вершиной многолетних усилий посредников из Минской группы стали две встречи между Робертом Кочаряном и Ильхамом Алиевым, которые удалось организовать в первой половине 2006 года. Но и они не позволили сделать конкретных шагов к достижению устойчивого мира. В исключительно жестком заявлении в конце июня международные посредники указали, что не видят смысла в продолжении интенсивной челночной дипломатии и организации новых встреч на уровне президентов. В заявлении от 3 июля посредники подтвердили готовность способствовать урегулированию, подчеркнув, что на деле ни в Баку, ни в Ереване нет политического желания прийти к соглашению.

Основные компоненты потенциального урегулирования хорошо известны. В двух докладах, опубликованных в 2005 году, Международная кризисная группа (МКГ) четко их обозначила. Заявление посредников подтвердило эти положения: все стороны должны отказаться от применения силы; армянские войска должны покинуть территорию Азербайджана, окружающую Нагорный Карабах; стороны должны обязаться провести референдум об окончательном статусе Нагорного Карабаха в обстановке без применения «насильственных мер»; на этот период данное территориальное образование должно получить временный статус, и международное сообщество должно предоставить существенную помощь, включая направление миротворческого контингента, тем более что это единственный «замороженный конфликт» в Европе, где отсутствуют международные наблюдатели.

Камнем преткновения на переговорах оказался будущий статус двух коридоров, связывающих Нагорный Карабах с Арменией, условия будущего референдума и требование до его проведения обеспечить возвращение беженцев. Предложение посредников достичь соглашения по другим позициям, разблокировав сначала сам процесс, и отложить обсуждение более трудных проблем, оказалось неприемлемым.

Победа, одержанная Арменией в результате военных действий 1992--1994 годов, когда были заняты обширные территории, с которых было выселено азербайджанское население, оказалась пирровой. Страна попала в изоляцию в результате закрытия Турцией своих границ. Но политическая арифметика, принятая в Ереване, не позволяет получить итоговое урегулирование: сторонники президента Кочаряна, являющегося бывшим руководителем Нагорного Карабаха, не простят ему уступок Азербайджану.

Баку, поддерживаемый на плаву поступлениями от продажи нефти, которые позволяют к 2009 году утроить доход страны, по-видимому, вынашивает свой план разрешения конфликта. Оборонный бюджет страны на будущий год превысит весь государственный бюджет Армении. В последней войне Азербайджан потерпел поражение. Очевидно, что кое-кто в Баку стремится к реваншу: должностные лица, начиная с президента Алиева, расхваливают военный потенциал страны.

Хотя усилия посредников оказались безрезультатными, международное сообщество не может позволить событиям развиваться бесконтрольно -- слишком многое поставлено на карту. Настало время пересмотреть отношение к обоим государствам.

Армения получает значительную помощь от внешнего мира, часть которой совсем недавно была направлена в рамках программы США «Вызовы тысячелетия». Азербайджан расположен в центре сплетения интересов в области энергии и безопасности, включая газо- и нефтепроводы, соединяющие месторождения Каспийского моря с Турцией и Западом. Некоторые представители Азербайджана надеются, что геополитические интересы заставят международное сообщество закрыть глаза на проведение военной кампании по возвращению территории, утраченной в 1994 году. России, Европе и США нужно внести в этот вопрос абсолютную ясность, если этого не удалось добиться последним заявлением посредников. Нужно показать, что новое применение оружия приведет к снятию всех обязательств по оказанию помощи как в экономической, так и в политической сфере. Если международному сообществу не удается вернуть в Закавказье мир, то по крайней мере оно должно недвусмысленно заявить о неприемлемости возобновления войны.

Николас УАЙТ, директор Европейской программы, Сабина ФРЕЙЗЕР, директор Кавказского проекта МКГ

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