WASHINGTON, Nov. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Regarding the forthcoming unofficial visit to Moscow of so-called "Prime Minister" of the Serbian province of Kosovo, Agim Ceku, the American Council for Kosovo submits for the consideration of the Russian government and people, and of international opinion generally, the following:
1. Mr. Ceku's visit to Moscow is not an official one, as confirmed by the
Russian Ambassador in Belgrade, nor is his visit on the initiative of
Russian authorities. To the contrary, his visit was agreed to by
Moscow only after repeated requests from Mr. Ceku himself and,
according to press reports, following consultation with Belgrade.
2. Accordingly, Mr. Ceku's visit to Moscow should not be taken as a sign
of a shift of Russia's position in favor of Kosovo Albanian demands
for the illegal and forcible detachment of Kosovo from Serbia. To the
contrary, as stated by State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman
Konstantin Kosachyov, the Russian decision finally to agree to Mr.
Ceku's request is aimed at "bolstering Serbia's territorial integrity
and preventing [an imposed] decision on Kosovo's status."
3. The fact that Russian authorities are even willing to meet at all with
a person of Mr. Ceku's odious record is a testament to the extent to
which Moscow is determined to consult with all sides of the Kosovo
conflict in an effort to reach a just settlement. Mr. Ceku, formerly
military commander of the so-called "Kosovo Liberation Army" (KLA), is
a terrorist and a war criminal, no better than the late Shamil Basayev
and Khattab in Chechnya. According to the 2002 Serbian indictment for
genocide and other grievous offenses, Mr. Ceku bears command
responsibility for the murders by KLA terrorists of 669 Serbs and 18
members of other ethnic groups, 518 counts of inflicting serious
bodily harm (including torture) and wounding, and 584 counts of
abduction, many of the victims of which are presumed dead. Mr. Ceku
was named military commander of the KLA in May 1999. The following
month, after the end of hostilities between Serbia and NATO forces,
KLA terrorists under Mr. Ceku's command intensified their attacks on
civilian Christian Serbs, driving two-thirds of them from the
province, as well as against Roma (Gypsies), Croats, Jews, Ashkalis,
Gorani, and other non-Muslim or non-Albanians in Kosovo. Over 150
Orthodox Christian churches and monasteries have been demolished or
desecrated. Prior to his affiliation with the terrorist KLA, Mr. Ceku
was responsible for numerous atrocities in other parts of the former
Yugoslavia. (Further background about Mr. Ceku's record and his
unfitness to claim leadership of an independent state is available
from the American Council for Kosovo, specifically the Council's
statement of June 19, 2006).
4. Mr. Ceku's visit to Moscow comes as Kosovo Albanians and their
supporters have launched a desperate diplomatic and public relations
blitz in an effort to regain lost momentum in light of the
postponement of any decision on Kosovo's final status, once said to be
"inevitable" by the end of 2006. Despite claims that independence
will be announced soon after Serbia's January 2007 elections, there is
no credible expectation that an illegal solution to the Kosovo
problem, imposed under threat of terrorist violence from Mr. Ceku and
his associates, will be any more viable than it is now.
5. The American Council for Kosovo appeals to the Russian government and
people to ensure that Mr. Ceku's Moscow visit is used as an
opportunity for a firm and conclusive restatement of Russia's
principled position: that no solution may be imposed on Serbia without
Serbia's agreement or in violation of the United Nations Charter
unmistakable reality is that Kosovo independence is off the table.
6. The prospective failure of Mr. Ceku to secure Russian support for his
cause should be seen as an opportunity for the international community
to shift decisively to an effort to find a real and lasting solution
for Kosovo within a democratic, European state: Serbia. Such a
"European solution" for Kosovo, in accordance with the U.N. Charter
and the Helsinki Final Act, would address the legitimate needs of all
of Kosovo's residents regardless of ethnicity or religion, and would
be the product of genuine negotiations -- which have yet to begin.
It's now time for responsible representatives of Kosovo's Albanian
community to step forward to work with Belgrade for such a solution.
The American Council for Kosovo (http://www.savekosovo.org/) is a U.S. nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting a better American understanding of the Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohija and of the critical American stake in the province's future. The Council's mission is to make accurate information and analysis about Kosovo available to officials of the Executive and Legislative branches of the U.S. Government; to think tanks, media, NGOs, religious and advocacy organizations; and to the general public. In particular, the Council's educational activities will generate a heightened American awareness that an independent Kosovo -- forcibly and illegally detached from Serbia, as is now being contemplated by the international community -- would be harmful to U.S. national interests and to European and global security. The American Council for Kosovo is an activity of Venable LLP and Global Strategic Communications Group, which are registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act as agents for the Serbian National Council of Kosovo and Metohija. Additional information with respect to this matter is on file with the Foreign Agents Registration Unit of the Department of Justice in Washington, DC.
DATASOURCE: American Council for Kosovo
CONTACT: Darren Spinck of American Council for Kosovo, +1-202-213-7747,
Web site: http://www.savekosovo.org/