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Presidents of Kosovo and Albania discuss cooperation and Kosovo status

TIRANA, June 28, 2006 (BETA) - Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu stated on June 27 that the Albanian population in Kosovo had to accept the Serb minority and live with them.

"This is an important task at this time. Kosovo wants internal stability... and has a special obligation towards the minorities," Sejdiu said at a news conference held after the meeting with Albanian President Alfred Moisiu.

"This is a part of our obligation to prove ourselves," said Sejdiu, who is paying a two-day visit to Albania. "The Albanians have to become an example of good neighbors, a strong guarantee of further integration processes," he added.

Moisiu praised the Kosovo president for steps he was taking together with Premier Agim Ceku in order to come closer to the Serb minority in Kosovo. These steps "are speaking about the resolve of Kosovo politicians to view the Serbs as equals in the future of Kosovo," he said.

Sejdiu meets Albanian President

TIRANA, June 28, 2006 (KosovaLive) - Kosovo's President Fatmir Sejdiu and his Albanian counterpart Alfred Moisiu said in Tirana that it is being worked for respecting of the guiding principles of the Contact Group; which rule out partition of Kosovo, its return to pre 1999 situation or its joining with the other countries.

"Kosovo needs to fulfill the international standards as soon as possible and after independence, which is a natural process, to be able to fulfill all requirements arising from EU integration processes," he said.

Albanian President Alfred Moisiu said that Albania was, is ,and will be in favor of independence, which will contribute to peace and stability of the region. "Albanians are a nation who forgive but not forget, and they should forgive for realization of ideals that lie ahead - such as independence," Moisiu said.

Alfred Moisu highlighted the need for intensification of cooperation between the two countries. He said that the relations with Kosovo will take a new pulse after construction of Durres- Merdare highway.

President Sejdiu starts visit to Albania

PRISTINA, June 27, 2006 (KosovaLive) - Kosovo's President Fatmir Sejdiu started his two day visit to Albania at the invitation of his counterpart.

President will be meeting with Albanian leaders; President Alfred Moisiu, Prime Minister Sali Berisha, Parliament Speaker Jozefina Topalli, and with other political leaders.

This is his first visit to US, since Sejdiu took over the post of President.

Jessen-Petersen leaving Kosovo

PRISTINA, June 27, 2006 (BETA) - UNMIK chief Soren Jessen-Petersen will be returning to Kosovo on June 27 to finish his mandate and say good bye to the province's political leadership and his associates, BETA was told by UNMIK.

The Danish diplomat will visit Pristina on June 27-29 to meet with senior officials in Kosovo and to hold a farewell news conference.

On June 12, Jessen-Petersen announced that he would be leaving his post before the end of the month, after holding office for almost two years.

The June 26 edition of the Zeri newspaper said that U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan would reveal Jessen-Petersen's successor this week and that German Joachim was the most serious candidate for the position.

Jessen-Petersen invited for a farewell speech

PRISTINA, June 27, 2006 (KosovaLive) - Kosovo's Parliament Presidency decided to invite Soren Jessen-Petersen for a farewell speech in the end of his mission as the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General to Kosovo.

Jessen-Petersen ends his mission in a week time. Next Monday he will report for the last time before the MPs on the course of the political process on status.

The LDK in today's meting has also requested the Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning Ardian Gjini for a question time.

UNMIK: Kostunica wants to visit Kosovo for religious reasons

PRISTINA, June 27, 2006 (BETA) - On June 26, UNMIK approved Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica's request to visit Kosovo on Vidovdan, St Vitus' Day, June 28, explaining that the visit was for religious reasons and that it hoped it would stay within these confines.

UNMIK spokesperson Neeraj Singh told the Kosovo media that the U.N. mission had responded positively to the prime minister's request to visit Kosovo.

"We received Mr. Kostunica's request to visit Kosovo. We realized that the visit was being organized for religious reasons and we would like it to remain within these confines" for the visit to remain of a religious and not a political nature, Sing said.

Meanwhile, representatives of Kosovo's institutions opposed Kostunica's visit to the province.

Kosovo Assembly Speaker Kol Berisha said he opposed Kostunica's visit because of, as he said, the prime minister's stance on Kosovo.

The Kosovo government also said it opposed the visit, while Ulpiana Lama, a spokeswoman for the Kosovo premier, said that Kostunica had neither been invited to the province nor was he welcome.

Canada worried about incidents in Kosovo

BELGRADE, June 26, 2006 (BETA) - Canada is worried about the latest incidents in Kosovo and it feels that tensions between the Albanian majority and Serb minority are still one of the most serious threats to the region's stability, Canadian Ambassador in Belgrade Robert Paul McDougall said on June 26.

Canada does not have an a prior stance on the solution to Kosovo's status, but it thinks that whatever the solution is it must guarantee the rule of law, the protection of minority rights and regional stability, McDougall during a lecture on "The Priorities of Canadian Foreign Policy in the Balkans" which he gave at the Belgrade Institute for International Politics and the Economy.

The Canadian ambassador called on the Kosovo authorities "to fully" implement the standards of a democratic society and to implement all 13 priorities defined by the Contact Group in this process by October.

At the same time, McDougall called on Belgrade to encourage Kosovo Serbs to participate in the province's provisional institutions, explaining that "only by participating in political and social life will the Serb community be able to achieve its interests.

Status not an obstacle to Kosovo for CEFTA negotiations

PRISTINA, June 27, 2006 (KosovaLive) - Despite the undefined status, Kosovo will take part in the negotiations for Central Europe Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), as part of the efforts to increase regional economic cooperation and promote stability in the region.

Kosovo Coordinator to Stability Pact Gazmend Qorraj made those comments on Monday.

Qoraj will co-chair with Andrea Witkovski Kosovo negotiations group for enlargement and changing of CEFTA, which will take place on Tuesday. The group also includes Ejup Fejza and Blerim Burjani from the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Qorraj said that the agreement will have positive effect in political as well a sin economic terms, and it will be one more step forward towards EU integrations.

"Kosovo has not defined its status, therefore, participation in the negotiations will create for Kosovo stability, and also it will be a message for European countries that Kosovo is an equal partner and it is committed to EU integrations," he said.

UP elects Steering Committee

PRISTINA, June 27, 2006 (KosovaLive) - The University of Pristina (UP) has finally elected the steering committee.

Through secret vote UP a elected Basri Qapriqi as the head of the steering committee, whereas Dem‰ Hoti his deputy.

Two previous voting sessions have failed, and its successful realization on Monday is attributed to the Central Election Committee (CEC) and the OSCE Mission.

Meanwhile, the interviews with seven candidates who are running for the post of provost are underway

Fire grenade thrown in northern part of Mitrovica

MITROVICA, June 27, 2006 (KosovaLive) - Police reported that a fire grenade has been thrown in the northern part of Mitrovica, but due to the quick reaction did not come to any injury or fatality.

"A hand grenade was thrown from Oslobodjenje street in Northern Mitrovica, but the fire was put off immediately by some persons " said Larry Miller, regional spokesperson for UNMIK police in Mitrovica.

The suspect, according to the police, was seen running away from the spot.

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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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