Thursday, August 9, 2007

UNMIK cancels decree suspending return of property

PRIŠTINA -- UNMIK’s controversial decision to halt the return of property in Kosovo has been abolished Wednesday.

The United Nations mission in Kosovo deputy chief Steven Schook told a news conference in Priština that he was pleased with the decision, since it, in his words, demonstrated Kosovo institutions’ dedication to the rule of law.

UNMIK chief Joachim Ruecker passed decree 2007/41 on August 2, suspending a previous one from October last year, dealing with the return of property to rightful owners.

Kosovo’s Environment and Spatial Planning Minister Ardian Gjini told reporters that Priština was “determined to respect the sixth standard”, which pertains to property rights.

“We are aware that difficulties may arise due to the situation we are in, but we are determined to respect the property law,” Gjini said.

Over 25,000 claims for return of property have been submitted so far in Kosovo.

Serbia’s authorities condemned the August 2 decision, branding it “one of the most scandalous in the history of UNMIK”, and announcing possible legal action against Ruecker.

(Source :

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