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UNMIK Head calls on Kosova government, population to cooperate

News and Press Release
Originally published
In a televised speech on 20 January, Michael Steiner, the head of the UN civilian administration in Kosova (UNMIK), called on the population and authorities in Kosova to cooperate with the international community instead of blaming it for shortcomings in the province, ATA reported. Outlining UNMIK's priorities for 2003, Steiner said: "We face three hard challenges: in the economy, where far too many people have no jobs; with crime, where there is still Mafia-style organized crime; [and] on multiethnicity, where there is still no real multiethnic society." Steiner criticized Kosova's government for not taking on responsibility, adding that the decisive element will be the support of Kosova's people. At the end of his address, Steiner said the question of the final status of Kosova is not on the 2003 agenda. UB

In a 21 January interview with RFE/RL's South Slavic and Albanian Languages Service, Nexhat Daci, the speaker of Kosova's parliament, harshly criticized Steiner, saying the UN administrator treats the province's institutions as vassals, thereby abusing Kosovar hospitality. Daci warned that if Steiner continues to make promises without actually delivering on them, he might face a powerful reaction from Kosova's institutions. Daci stressed that the parliament does not intend to discontinue cooperation with UNMIK. However, he criticized Steiner's refusal to sign laws that have been prepared in cooperation with international experts and passed by parliament. "If this continues, the parliament will possibly decide to stop handing over the laws to Steiner altogether," Daci said. UB

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