Kosovo Serbs disturbed by Petersen assessments

Serb leaders in Kosovo have immediately reacted to a statement from UN governor Soeren Jessen-Petersen in which he said that the Serbian province of Kosovo has never been closer to achieving its goals.

Representatives of the Serb List for Kosovo will raise the issue in a meeting with the UNMIK chief today. Party leader Oliver Ivanovic says that Peterson’s statement is of concern because of the various interest groups in Kosovo.

“Petersen has given strong suggestions to the Albanian majority in earlier statements. This is disturbing to Serbs. I think that this statement will be misunderstood in New York, at the United Nations, when he meets UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan special envoy Kai Eide on September 20 to discuss the real state of Kosovo. I wouldn’t be surprised if his report contradicts Eide’s,” said Ivanovic.

Leon Kojen, advisor to the Serbian president, said today that Petersen has sent a message to the Serb community in Kosovo that they are not important at all, B92 reports.

“The goals of the Albanian majority in the province, which Petersen obviously has in mind, are not the goals of the Serb community and the unity he refers to, obviously, doesn’t include Serbs and other non-Albanians,” Kojen told.

In the meantime The United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) tightened security in the Albanian-majority province at the end of ugust, stepping up police patrols on the streets of Serb enclaves after gunmen killed two Serbs and injured two others as the situation remains tense in the province.

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