Thursday, 1 November 2007

Fifth Sitting of the Committee on Kosovo and Metohia

The Committee on Kosovo and Metohia held its fifth sitting on 1 November at the Culture House in Gracanica, in the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohia.

The Committee on Kosovo and Metohia held its fifth sitting on 1 November at the Culture House in Gracanica, in the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohia.

The sitting, which was open to the public, was chaired by the Committee Chairman, Vladimir Milentijevic, and attended by the Minister of Kosovo and Metohia, Slobodan Samardzic and associates, Assistant Minister of project planning and selection of the National Investment Plan, Marko Blagojevic and Assistant Director of the NIP office Branko Jankovic.

A large number of citizens of Gracanica and other places in the Province also attended the sitting, as well as a number of municipal coordinators in Kosovo and Metohia.

Minister Slobodan Samardzic gave an exhaustive briefing on the negotiations on the future status of Kosovo and Metohia and the upcoming activities of the State Negotiating Team.

He reminded all present that the first stage of the negotiations ended without results, as well as without the adoption of Ahtisari’s plan, emphasising that at this (second) stage the Serbian side uncompromisingly insisted that the main topic of the negotiations be the determination of the status of the AP of Kosovo and Metohia. Moreover, the Serbian side will, according to the Minister, continue to insist on the essential autonomy of the AP of Kosovo and Metohia, according to which Serbia would maintain its sovereignty, Kosovo Albanians would deal with internal affairs by themselves completely, and at the same time Serbs would be allowed to keep their identity and integrity and continue to live in Kosovo and Metohia. All other issues will be discussed after the end of the negotiations on the status, on which the Serbian side was adamant so far, said Samardzic, referring to the attempts by the Albanian side and certain members of the international negotiating trio to divert the negotiating into talks on interrelations. Minister Samardzic also talked about the preparations of the Negotiating Team and other state organs for the continuation of the negotiations in Vienna and the measures undertaken to ensure a more pronounced presence of the state in the AP of Kosovo and Metohia in the upcoming period.

Subsequently, the representatives of the Ministry of Infrastructure briefed the Committee on the realised and allotted means from the National Investment Plan and projects planned on the Province’s territory.

After an exhaustive discussion including, apart from the Committee members, Members of Parliament who are not Committee members, the attending citizens asked to be heard.

They stressed the problems and difficulties which they face on a daily basis, as well as certain cases of misuse of financial means and illegal acts of individuals in connection with them.

Answering questions, Minister Samardzic emphasised that he will do all in his power to increase responsibility in the field and establish a more adequate organisation and control of the expenditure of budgetary means. The state will continue to invest in projects designed to ensure a safer and better life of Serbs and non-Albanian population in the Autonomous Province. All proposals and suggestions voiced during the discussion will be considered.

Before the sitting commenced, the Committee members visited the Gracanica Monastery.

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