United Nations

A/51/532


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

21 October 1996

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


                                                      A/51/532
                                                      S/1996/864
                                                            


GENERAL ASSEMBLY                                            SECURITY COUNCIL
Fifty-first session                                         Fifty-first year
Agenda items 109 and 110 (c)
RIGHT OF PEOPLES TO SELF-DETERMINATION
HUMAN RIGHTS QUESTIONS:  HUMAN RIGHTS
  SITUATIONS AND REPORTS OF SPECIAL
  RAPPORTEURS AND REPRESENTATIVES


                Letter dated 21 October 1996 from the Permanent
                Representative of Albania to the United Nations
                      addressed to the Secretary-General


     Upon the instructions of my Government I have the honour to
communicate to you the following regarding document A/51/455 of 7
October 1996, which contains a letter dated 4 October 1996 from the
Charge' d'affaires a.i. of the "Permanent Mission of Yugoslavia to the
United Nations".

-    The Government of Albania rejects all the accusations presented
against the peaceful policy of the Republic of Albania, against its
continuing principled position in favour of full respect for all the
rights of the Albanian people in Kosova.  The intentional misreading
of the statement of Mr. Tritan Shehu, Deputy Prime Minister and
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania, made during
the general debate clearly shows that, as in the past, the authorities
of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) continue
their propaganda of disinformation in the international community to
disguise the truth about the grave situation prevailing in Kosova,
which is inhabited almost entirely by Albanians who have been living
in their lands for thousands of years.  My Government discards and
most decisively rejects the provocative and shameless assertion that
"such Albanian position has recently encouraged separatist extremists
to undertake terrorist action", at a time when indeed those "terrorist
actions" are nothing but attempts to compromise the consistent
peaceful policy the whole Albanian people of Kosova has pursued for
years now, but which unfortunately has not yet met its deserved
reward.  As for the idle allegations concerning the situation of
minorities in Albania made as a countercharge, they immediately become
invalid if Belgrade would kindly read not the statement of Mr.
Shehu but the report of the High Commissioner of the 
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE),
Mr. Max Van der Stoel, on Albania contained in his letter dated
2 November 1994 addressed to the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of the
Republic of Albania and circulated as an OSCE document.

-    The current situation in Kosova, where the Albanians are subjected to
brutal and massive repression, is caused by the aggressive policy and
discriminatory practices pursued over the last years by the Serbian regime
there.  The Serbian authorities are continuing their campaign of State
terror through, to mention only a few forms, killing and torturing of
Albanians, raids of homes throughout Kosova, illegal arrests and systematic
persecution and maltreatment of political and human rights activists,
imprisonment of people because of their political convictions, systematic
and continued campaigns to destroy the Albanian cultural heritage,
including by halting education in Albanian and crushing the efforts of the
Albanians to preserve their identity in Kosova.  It is not the Albanian
Minister alone who describes such a dramatic state of violation of human
rights, but also the reports of the special rapporteurs on the human rights
situation in the former Yugoslavia, reports of non-governmental
organizations, especially Amnesty International and Human Rights
Watch/Helsinki, and periodic reports of the Prishtina-based Council for the
Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms.  It is clear that there are no
conditions whatsoever for enjoyment of human rights and freedoms in Kosova,
contrary to the allegations made in document A/51/455.

-    The international community and in particular the United Nations,
OSCE, the European Union and the Council of Europe have called for and
continue their efforts to ensure full respect for human rights and
fundamental freedoms in Kosova.  Resolutions 49/204 and 50/190 of the
General Assembly call on the Belgrade authorities to take urgent steps to
end immediately the violations of human rights and freedoms and to stop
repression against the Albanians in Kosova.  Furthermore, the international
community has called upon the Serbian authorities to engage in serious
dialogue with the legitimate representatives of the Albanians in Kosova in
order to find a peaceful solution to the problem.  The Belgrade authorities
cannot label the international concern for Kosova an "interference in the
internal affairs of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia".  On the contrary,
if there is a sincere wish for peace, then the Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) should comply immediately with the
resolutions of the General Assembly and of other United Nations bodies
regarding Kosova.  The reality bears witness to a continued refusal to
acknowledge such documents.  Furthermore, the peaceful resistance of the
Albanians, which has been applauded worldwide, cannot be called
"terrorism"; instead the Belgrade authorities should engage in a serious
process of investigation of the latest acts of provocation, which are done
in order to justify the continued State terrorism against the Albanian
people in Kosova.

-    The Government of Albania maintains its constructive position, based
on the Charter of the United Nations and international law, that the
problem of Kosova should be resolved through negotiations between Belgrade
and Prishtina in the presence of a credible third international party.  As
was stated by Mr. Tritan Shehu, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of
Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania, during the general debate of
the General Assembly at its fifty-first session, Albania holds that Kosova
should be given a status in conformity with the political will of its
people and in accordance with the international documents that acknowledge
the right of peoples to self-determination.

-    The Republic of Albania has consistently pursued a peaceful,
constructive policy in favour of peace and stability in the region. 
Albania opposes changing borders by force and a clear testimony to this is
its condemnation of the Serb aggression in territories of the former
Yugoslavia.  Likewise, Albania has supported the peace efforts for the
former Yugoslavia and has contributed positively and concretely to those
efforts.  Therefore it is only right that Albania insist that after Bosnia
a just solution must be found to the Kosova issue, which today remains the
most critical problem in the Balkans.  As in the past, the Belgrade
authorities, by using such innovations as "Greater Albania" and
"secession", are trying to distract the international community from the
real problem of Kosova.  The idea of "Greater Albania" is nothing but
speculation at a time when the practice of a "Greater Serbia" undertaken by
Belgrade has caused the peoples of the former Yugoslavia to pay the bloody
price of 200 thousand killed, not to mention the huge number of refugees
and displaced persons and the ruin of the country within and around Bosnia.

-    Finally, I would like to reiterate the Government of Albania's appeal
to the international community to continue to pay due attention to the
important problem of Kosova in order to find a just peaceful solution to
the problem, thus contributing to international peace and security.

     May I request your kind assistance in circulating my letter as a
document of the General Assembly, under agenda items 109 and 110 (c), and
of the Security Council.


                                                       (Signed)  Pellumb KULLA

                                                      Permanent Representative


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