Archive for Kosovo
Kosovo officials submitted a revised list of its embassy staff to Germany, which included Kosovar agent named Arif Uka. The day before, German police arrested Uka after he shot 2 US military personnel, even though Mr. Uka claimed he was acting in self defense because the two “robbers” accosted him. In its filing with the German government, Kosovo officials reminded the court of the Vienna protocol on protection of diplomatic personnel. Even though witnesses heard Mr. Uka yelled, “Allah-hu-Akbar!” after shooting the two men, the Kosovo consulate in Frankfurt maintained that–despite the fact that Uka served with the Kosovo Liberation Army’s Special Forces previously and that he was found with more than 75 rounds of ammunition along with 2 fully-loaded automatic weapons at the time of his arrest–Mr. Uka is still entitled to “full diplomatic immunity” under international law. The German distric court in Karlsruhe set next week’s session to decide on Mr. Uka’s claim of diplomatic status. Meanwhile, hundreds of agitated citizens held a noisy protest outside the courtroom, with many holding banners that decried Kosovo’s imperialist policies toward Germany. One espcially prominent placard even demanded that German authorities give Mr. Uka “enhanced interrogation techniques” in order to obtain his confession on terrorist activities.
The Swedish government said it would close six Swedish embassies, including five in Europe, this year and open 10 new embassies. Embassies facing closure were based in European Union members Bulgaria, Ireland, Luxembourg, Slovakia, and Slovenia. “Within the framework of the close cooperation that exists between the EU member states, there is scope for developing new forms for maintaining bilateral contacts in future,” Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said. Meanwhile, Sweden is to upgrade its missions in Albania, Kosovo, Georgia and Moldova to embassies. The sixth embassy to be closed was in Dakar, Senegal, while section offices were to be upgraded in Senegal’s West African neighbours Burkina Faso, Liberia and Mali as well as Rwanda, Bolivia and Cambodia.