Valley Albanians back Ahtisaari plan.

Ethnic Albanian representatives in municipal assemblies in the Preševo Valley, in southern Serbia, convened on Saturday.

They adopted a declaration which says that the political situation in Bujanovac, Medveđa and Preševo "has deteriorated." Legitimate representatives of the Albanian minority in the south noted that "official Belgrade was ignoring their demands specified in the Platform adopted on January 14, 2006."

During a three-hour debate that preceded the adoption of the declaration, ethnic Albanians agreed that statements coming from some Serbian officials "constituted a threat to regional stability and peace."

"In the context of Serbia’s stalling of the process of European integration, we give our full support to the Ahtisaari plan for the future status of Kosovo, as only this package could solve the province’s issue and produce permanent peace and stability in the region," the declaration says.

"Any form of militarization of the Preševo Valley is a threat to regional stability and its economic development," adds the document.

The Albanian representatives leveled sharp criticism at the work of the Coordinating Body, blaming it for "sluggishness in continuing the political process that started there in 2001."

The declaration also says that the creation of the National Council of the ethnic Albanian community would soon follow.

The meeting that took place yesterday in Preševo gathered for the first time leaders of all five Albanian parties represented in local authorities.

Ragmi Mustafa, president of the Democratic Party of Albanians, Skender Destani, leader of the Democratic Union of the Preševo Valley, Jonuz Musliu, president of the Movement for Democratic Progress, Riza Halimi of the Party for Democratic Action (PDD), and Zijush Ahmeti of the National Albanian Movement, were all present at the meeting.

[Source: Beta News Agency, Presevo, 30Sep07]

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