Thursday, June 21, 2007

Closure of Nice Restaurant

I'm very sad to confirm that the Stone House/Ulpiana Restaurant in Hajvali/Ajvalia is permanently closed.  There had been rumors that the restaurant would re-open after renovation but yesterday I found out that the renovations being conducted are not to reopen the restaurant but rather an artist has purchased the property and is turning it into a house!  I'm quite sad because the restaurant was really quite nice to sit in during the summer as they had a fantastic garden.  However, there are a couple new restaurants along the road that I need to try out like Brillant.  I'll let you know how they turn out in the next couple of weeks!

MTCowgirl's Kosovo Update...
Most of the news about Kosovo is that Russia has rejected the new proposal put forth by Western countries for 120-days (4 months) of new negotiations because the proposal states that if no agreement is reached, the Ahtisaari plan would be implemented.  Questions were raised on the practicality to negotiate if Kosovo would know that the plan was implemented at the end of the four month period.  Besides suggesting new negotiations, the proposal calls for parties to refrain from unilateral decisions, a point directed at the Kosovo Albanian leadership.

Members of the Kosovo government are reacting to recent news of further delays and statements made by chief UN prosecutor Carla del Ponte.  Kosovo President Fatmir Sediju criticized Russia for holding Kosovo hostage and requested the Security Council to set a clear date for independence.  Kosovo PM Agim Ceku has stated that "negotiations are over" and Kosovo is refusing to consider any more talks with Belgrade. As for del Ponte's suggestion over delaying the vote on the UN resolution, the Kosovo government lashed out at her with a statement that she has "violated in the most terrible way her mandate"

Analysts are warning that Albanians may revert to violence to express dissatisfaction with the progress on independence and Kosovo leaders are likely to lose face if the status is not decided soon.  Radical group Vetevendosje (Self-Determination) has called for street protests on 30 June.  One analyst even said that there may be uncontrolled riots as March 2004.  Such actions would seriously undermine all the efforts of the Albanians in showing the international community that they are prepared for independence and ready to respect minority fact IMHO it goes to show that there is no black and white or good and evil sides of the conflict in Kosovo.  There is no denying that Serb military forces killed innocent civilians but there was a great deal of revenge attacks on innocent Serbs by Albanians as well.

The EU has issued a warning to the Kosovo government against a unilateral declaration of independence and possible violence.  A spokesperson stated that it would be "a huge step backwards" if there was an "irresponsible" declaration.