Albanian Daily News - Nov 22

Ethnic Albanians Seen Issuing Kosovo Citizenship Certificates

Albanian Economic Tribune

PRISHTINA - Self-proclaimed ethnic Albanian authorities have issued Kosovo citizenship certificates, rejected as "illegitimate" by the UN administration (UNMIK), the Belgrade-based news agency Beta reported.

These documents state that the citizens of the province are "the citizens of Kosovo," the agency said. "Certifikate Kosoves" is the original name in Albanian of the "Kosovo certificate."

"The application form is dominated by the state symbol of Albania - a two-headed eagle - and on the top of the form there is a small Albanian coat of arms, with the word Kosove underneath it," the agency said. "The forms are written only in Albanian. The official seal on the forms also displays the two-headed eagle."

Beta quoted Stanimir Vukicevic, serving as liaison to the Yugoslav government’s with UNMIK, as saying that the certificates are issued by offices that are being opened by Hashim Thaci’s self-proclaimed interim government in Kosovo. Independent confirmation was not available.

UNMIK’s spokeswoman, Daniela Rozgonova, said the Kosovo citizenship certificate is illegitimate.

Rozgonova said that the UNMIK planned to carry out a census in Kosovo, after which all the citizens of Kosovo were to receive trilingual (in Serbian, Albanian, and English) personal identification cards from the United Nations "as the only valid identification document."

She could not specify when the UNMIK would start issuing personal identification cards, but she said she expected it to start towards the end of this year or at the beginning of next year.

"In any case, we will not recognise illegal documents issued by the local authorities in Kosovo," Daniela Rozgonova said.

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