DAILY CATHOLIC     THURSDAY     March 18, 1999     vol. 10, no. 54

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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KOSOVO RELIGION PEACE MEETING MAKING SLOW PROGRESS

          VIENNA (CWNews.com) - A peace meeting between the several religions represented in the breakaway region of Kosovo this week has been cordial, but little progress was made, according to the sponsor of the talks.

          Rabbi Arthur Schneier of the New York-based Appeal of Conscience Foundation said the ethnic Albanian Islamic and Serbian Orthodox leaders are talking, but have not moved toward reconciliation. The Kosovo region, mainly populated by ethnic Albanians -- the majority of whom are Muslim -- broke away from Serbia last year, and fighting since then has left at least 2,000 people dead and 600,000 people homeless. The meeting also includes the Catholic bishop of Kosovo, Marko Sopi.

          "We have spoken out against massacres, against violence regardless of which side committed them. We have never made a distinction between crimes committed by Albanian terrorists or the Serbian security forces," Serbian Orthodox Bishop Kyr Artemije said outside the meeting. "The conference was convened to overcome hatred and to establish confidence between national communities in Kosovo. But I have a feeling not all of us are competent enough to work for the goal for which this conference was convened," he added.

          Schneier said the goal of the meeting, which ends on Thursday, is to find a way for people of various religions to leave together peacefully in Kosovo, whatever the result of peace talks now going on in Paris. "Whatever happens at the negotiating table in Paris, these religious leaders still have to live under the same skies, in the same space. They have to find a way to coexist," he said.


Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales. Both CWN and NE are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

March 18, 1999       volume 10, no. 54
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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