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UP elects Enver Hasani in the post of Provost

PRISTINA, June 30, 2006 (KosovaLive) - The University of Pristina (UP) Steering Committee with six votes for and two against elected Enver Hasani as new UP Provost.

After election, Hasani at a press conference promised that he will return UP to the European system of values.

He said that he will be committed to an open university, "where the academic processes are academic processes, and where is the rule of law."

Working Group on Standards convenes

PRISTINA, June 30, 2006 (KosovaLive) - The representatives of Kosovar institutions evaluate positively the achievements in implementation of Standard III (Freedom of Movement) and IV (Sustainable Return).

They said that they could have reached more if there was not the destructive policy of Belgrade, who is discouraging and obstructing the Serbs to return.

Aziz Lila, the Deputy Minister of Local Self-Administration said that 25 houses in the village of Klinave in Klina have been reconstructed only in the recent weeks. He also added that a multiethnic school in Novobrdo is being build, thanks to the assistance of the British Government.

Sandra Mitchell, the Head of the UNMIK Office for Return said that the process of return has marked a progress, adding that more work is needed in order for all Kosovars to have a better life. She said that freedom of movement and sustainable return are very important standards, which require commitment of everyone.

Svilanovic welcomes Serbian government's diplomatic activity

BELGRADE, June 29, 2006 (BETA) - The former foreign minister of the FR Yugoslavia, Goran Svilanovic, said on June 28 that the visit of Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica to London was an excellent move and added that Serbia "should not stand aside" in the process of solving the future status of Kosovo.

"The stand of the majority in the Contact Group is that Kosovo's independence is certain, but this does not mean that things are finished and that Serbia should stand aside. In this context, progress of the government and the prime minister should be praised," Svilanovic told Radio B92.

Commenting on Kostunica's visit to Kosovo and on the protest of Albanians against the visit, Svilanovic said Serbian officials had to be welcome in Kosovo if they go there once or twice a year.

"This level of nervousness is beyond all limits. One must accept the right of the prime minister or president of Serbia to visit Kosovo, and this would help them when they sit at the negotiating table tomorrow," the former foreign minister concluded.

KPC organizes special ceremony for Jessen-Petersen

PRISTINA, June 29 2006 (KosovaLive) - The Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC) have organized a special ceremony on Wednesday in honor of the outgoing Head of UNMIK Soren Jessen-Petersen, who is leaving in a couple of days.

"It is a pleasure to welcome you in the ceremony the KPC has organized in honor of chief administrator, in honor of Kosovo's big friend Jessen-Petersen who is leaving in a couple e of days. This is not an easy moment but we are proud we have had him here," KPC Commander General Sylejman Selimi said.

General Selimi said that Jessen-Petersen has made a lot in creating a safe and secure environment. "He has given a tremendous contribution in building of democratic institutions, and in building of a democratic society," Selimi said, and added that Kosovo and KPC will never forget Jessen-Petersen's work in Kosovo.

The Head of UNMIK Soren Jessen-Petersen said that when he came in Kosovo two years ago, he believed that the KPC is part of the solution. He also voiced impressed with all what KPS has done so far. "Please continue with your good work and I am proud to be a KPC friend," he said.

Beginning of construction of future school and infirmary

BELGRADE, June 29, 2006 (BETA) - Belgrade mayor Nenad Bogdanovic and the director of the People's Office of the Serbian president, Dragan Djilas, marked the beginning of construction of a school and an infirmary in the Serb village of Strezovce in eastern Kosovo.

The 200 square meter facility is worth about EUR100,000. The City of Belgrade and the People's Office provided the funding.

"This is not the first time the City of Belgrade is helping Serb settlements in Kosovo. We will continue this practice in the future," Bogdanovic said, according to the statement of the city management.

Around 40 children in Strezovce have so far attended classes in a house with no electricity and water. As of autumn this year, they will have normal schooling conditions.

The new infirmary will provide the population of the village and its vicinity with adequate primary health protection.

In Strezovce and its vicinity there are around 200 houses, inhabited by some 500 people.

Government evaluates positively its work

PRISTINA, June 29 2006 (KosovaLive) - Kosovo Government in a report evaluated as very successful its work in its first 100 days in office. The report will be handed next week to the Parliament as well as the political parties in order they review it.

The Spokesperson Ulpiana Lama said that it is up to the Parliament to decide whether to proceed it in a parliament session or joust in the Parliament Presidency. The report will be available for the public opinion, even though it is not outlined by the rules. "But it was the will and the engagement of Prime Minister since he took over the duty to make the Government work public and transparent," she said.

Contact Group ends meeting in London

LONDON, June 29, 2006 (BETA) - Directors for the Balkans from the six Contact Group member countries' foreign ministries met in London on June 28, and discussed the negotiating process concerning the Kosovo status, and the way these negotiations are to be continued.

According to a statement by the spokeswoman of the U.N.'s special envoy for the future status of Kosovo, Hua Jiang, the chief international intermediary, Martti Ahtisaari, had informed the Contact Group representatives that he intended to organize a top level meeting between the Serbian and Pristina representatives in July, that is, bring the two presidents or premiers to Vienna.

The meeting would help to progress from practical, "status-neutral" issues, to more concrete negotiations on status itself.

In addition, Ahtisaari told the Contact Group representatives that he intends to continue the talks on "technical issues," i.e., on decentralization, the protection of religious and cultural heritage and the economy, which were the topic of six rounds of negotiations held so far, Jiang said.

The Contact group will have another meeting in two days, dedicated to the Kosovo negotiations -- on June 30, the political directors from the foreign ministries of the six countries will convene in Brussels. The meeting will be chaired by Ahtisaari.

Kostunica says Kosovo will always be part of Serbia

GRACANICA, June 29, 2006 (BETA) - Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica stated on June 28 that Gracanica was "the right place to say what every Serb has to know -- that Kosovo has and always will be a part of Serbia."

The prime minister, who visited Kosovo on June 28 in order to attend the traditional celebration of the Orthodox Christian feast day of St. Vitus, told the people who gathered in the Gracanica Monastery that "today is the opportunity to also say from this place what Serbia wants."

"Serbia wants justice, law, peace and wants to talk, to reach an agreement, a compromise and a just solution for Kosovo and Metohija," Kostunica said, adding that "among our people, Kosovo is another word for justice, law and freedom."

According to the prime minister, Serbia is a democratic country, in which all ethnic communities have to be, can be, and are equal and free. "This is why today Gracanica reminds us not only of what we once were, but also of what we have to be because of our past, and we will achieve this if we show fortitude and persevere, if we are prudent and unified," Kostunica said.

Since the beginning of the St. Vitus morning liturgy till 1:30 p.m., around 1,000 people were waiting for the prime minister in Gracanica. Kostunica was welcomed by Bishop of Lipljan Teodosije at the monastery gate, while Bishop Artemije welcomed him at the entrance to the monastery building.

BETA was told by the Serbian government that Kostunica did not attend the liturgy because it was not planned, and that his visit to Kosovo passed without any problems. Both when he arrived and after his speech, the premier was welcomed with ovations.

Police intervene to disperse protestors

PRISTINA, June 29 2006 (KosovaLive) - The police intervened on Wednesday to disperse the protestors who blocked the road near Merdare border crossing point to prevent Serbia's Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica to enter Kosovo.

115 Vet‰vendosje activists were arrested at Merdare near Podujevo and in Mitrovica.

Vetevendosje activists rejects Kostunica's arrival in Kosovo. They say that Kostunica took photos alongside with the Serb police and military forces in support of their operations against Shala region.

"His country is responsible for murdering of 14 000 civilians and for taking of another 3 000 residents as hostages; His country is responsible for raping of 20 000 women and for destroying of 120 000 houses. Serbia even now do not feel guilty for all that, and Kosovo was not ," reads a statement issued by Vet‰vendosje.

CDHRF: KPS demonstrated brutality and anger against protestors

PRISTINA, June 29 2006 (KosovaLive) - The Council for Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms (CDHRF) evaluated the police intervention against Vetvendosje protestors at Merdare border crossing point yesterday as brutal, warning that it cannot help stabilization of the situation.

CDHRF has monitored the protest at Merdare, where all protestors have been arrested, including war invalids, juveniles, and females.

"During the arrests operations, the police has demonstrated brutality and anger. They have behaved in a brutal way in particular against the LPK Chairman Emrush Xhemajli," reads a statement issued by the Council.

CDHRF expressed its surprise how it is possible such a mass mobilization of police and KFOR forces for a visit, which was described as a private one.

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Speech by Don Shan Zefi, Chancellor

Opening of Interfaith Conference on Peaceful Coexistence and Dialogue
Monastery of Pec Patriarchate
Peja / Pec, May 2 - 3, 2006

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