UN, Kosovo Debate Ends with a Flush and a Cough, Last One Turn the
UN, Of Serbian Cell Phones in Kosovo and Transport Corruption,
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, May 17 -- "Kosovo cannot tolerate any longer so much
lawlessness, " Skender Hyseni, Foreign Minister of Kosovo, told
the Press on Monday. Inner City Press has asked Hyseni about this
government's move last month to disable the repeaters of Telekom and
Telenor, two Serbia-based cell phone companies, from providing
service south of the Ibar River.
which seeks a license will be duly considered and eventually
honored," Hyseni said. Video here,
from Minute 2:50.
cell service is a
politically charged issue. Currently, according to Hyseni, 68
countries recognize the unilateral declaration of independence of
Kosovo. He predicted the number will grow after the International
Court of Justice rules on Serbia's case, which he said will be soon.
that regulating telecommunications should still be the responsibility
of the UN, under Resolution 1244. After a Security Council meeting
Monday about Kosovo, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin came out
smiling. "Resolution 1244," he told the Press as he passed.
asked Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic to, like Hyseni, take
questions at the stakeout. Jeremic shook his head. "It was a
good session," he said, gesturing back at the Council. Last Kosovo
debate in January, Boris Tadic similarly declined to take questions.
Hyseni on May 17, Zennier in background, cell phone
regulation not seen
on Monday might have been
asked about the mass grave recently found in Southern Serbia, or
whether Kovoso's participation in the upcoming EU - Wester Balkan
conference in Sarajevo connotes increased recognition of the UDI.
would have wanted to call for the ouster of Kosovo
transportation minister Fatmir Limoj, whose office was recently
raided by EULEX. Hyseni when asked by Inner City Press declined to
speak on this, saying that the judiciary in Kosovo is independent,
and that questions of corruption should be kept separate from
"projects." Video here,
from Minute 4:16.
But if the
alleged corruption was in the
procurement for the project, how can they be separate? Watch this
* * *
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, January 22 -- When Kosovo
comes before the UN Security
Council these days, each time it is with more and more of a whimper.
Friday Serbian President Boris Tadic, in the Chamber, spoke darkly of
a "final solution" being imposed on northern Kosovo. But he
declined to speak to the press when he emerged.
prepared to leave, then turned back into the UN. When the Press tried
to follow the entourage into the now empty Delegates' Lounge, a Serb
Mission staffer stood in the way. You cannot come in, she said, later
clarifying that Tadic was only using the bathroom. "Then he has
to leave, to come to our party then fly back to Belgrade."
Kosovo's Skender Hyseni, after lowering the UN microphone to his
height, ridiculed Tadic's arguments. Inner City Press asked about
Tadic's statement that elections not called by the UN Mission, UNMIK,
are illegal. Hyseni said that the authorities in Belgrade have also
opposed any election called by UNMIK. Video here,
from Minute 7:36.
Tadic in Council in 2009, flush out of press not yet shown
asked about Tadic's remark that the International Civilian Office
under Peter Feith is trying to impose a "final solution."
Hyseni wouldn't repeat the phrase, calling it a "final
whatever," and saying it would be "irrational" to
comment on that. He said the ICO is a "European accredited
mission to Kosovo." Then, coughing, he left the stakeout. The
UN's Special Representative never appears, and no Council member came
and spoke to the Press.
the case of Kosovo is pending in the International Court of Justice,
three more countries have recognized the unilateral declaration of
independence of Kosovo: New Zealand, Mauritania and Malawi.
Tadic put it,
that still means that 127 nations respect Serbia's territorial
integrity. But for how long? Especially when Serbia doesn't make its
case to the press? Minister Vuk Jeremic was there in the entourage,
fresh from profile in the Grey Lady, but didn't want to upstage his
President. But he shouldn't have let Hyseni upstage him either.
during the Council debate, multiple references were made to whether
Serbs in northern Kosovo pay their electricity bills, and to whom.
The privatization of Kosovo Electricity, however, was not
discussed.... In the emptying UN, last one here, turn the lights out.
UN, Serbia on Churches Paved Over, Kosovo Calls World Court Merely
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, October 15 -- Even in the run up to the International Court
of Justice's proceeding on the legality of Kosovo's unilateral
declaration of independence, at the UN Security Council the issue has
lost its juice. As the Council on Thursday debated whether or not to
let Kosovo speak, the stakeout outside was as empty as for Nepal.
When the principals emerged, only the Kosovar spoke. Lamberto
Zannier, who cashes checks at the UN's envoy to Kosovo, did not speak
to the Press.
he emerged, walked slowly by the stakeout. There was no other
reporter waiting other than Inner City Press. Further up the hall he
graciously stopped and answered three questions. Inner City Press
asked, what can the ICJ case actually change, on the ground?
the biggest ICJ case in history, with 31 countries participating
including each of the Council's Permanent Five member. What about
cultural damage? Jeremic spoke of a church demolished, paved over and
turned into a park. It must be reversed, he said.
testimony complained that until the eve of his flight to the Council
in New York, the Kosovo authorities refused to meet with him. Jeremic
afterwards told Inner City Press the meeting only took place between
the Kosovars were embarrassed. But what is the future of UNMIK?
Serb protests of Kosovo's UDI, whimper not shown
asked Kosovo's representative if he wants the UN to leave. He spoke
highly of the EU and EULEX. And that may say it all.
that Kosovo even spoke, inside the chamber, may create a precedent.
Others wondered by South Ossetia and Abkhazia can't do it. The answer
is the power of the U.S. as host country. They have to let in
representatives of any member state. But on the cusp states like
Kosovo and Abkhazia, they are not required and can choose. Some