Operation Kosovo
About Operation Kosovo

Daily Trip Report - July 14, 2003

Prof. Hank Perritt -
The effort to obtain more specific technical information was unsuccessful. Xepdev met Nicole and Tim at the Law Faculty, but did not have a key for the locked-up lab. We may try later.

We met with the executive director of IPKO Institute, which has a beautiful facilty with lots of state of the art computers. The Institute provides free Internet connectivity for NGOs and local government institutions, certified CISCO training, and a new management program that has 15 carefully selected young Kosovars who are being taught management, leadership, technology, business plan preparation, and inventory management.

We then had a good meeting with Hasim Thaqi, the leader of the PDK, the second-largest party. Mr. Thaqi was very appreciative of the work we have done on our several projects and visits.

At noon we met again with Bujar Musa, the CEO of IPKO, who arranged a meeting with the chairman of his board to discuss the clinic/leadership joint venture further. Then he and Carson discussed in detail a proposed credit card/debit card merchant processing network. Carson will develop a business plan and seek to find a partner with experience in credit card processing.

Our meeting with KLC in the afternoon was not good. The KLC also refused our request for the missing volumes of the compendium.

We met with Blerim Reka in the late afternoon, who gave us some very useful materials on reform of commercial law in Kosovo and his bar prep handbook. Reka thinks someone should start an entirely new law school in Pristina, and we agreed to constitute a "steering committee" to discuss the possibility further.

At the end of the day we met with Atkhe Veliu, joined briefly by Lulzim Pecim, head of KIPRED, who approved a revised version of the concept paper for CIPE/NED.

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Carson Block -
I met up with everyone before the meeting with Thaqi, who is the head of the largest opposition party in Kosovo (the PDK) and one of the country's most powerful politicians. Thaqi used a staff member to translate, but he can probably get by in English if he had to. He's a pretty sober guy, but he seems to have a sense of humor. He was quite critical of the President, who he says stays at home and only receives visitors. He also stated that the heads of a couple of ministries are corrupt. Of course, all three politicians are from the LDK, which is the party currently in power.

We then went to the Kosovo Law Center for a meeting. I had no idea what was on the agenda for the meeting, as this was more something that Nicole and Jill have worked on. In any case, I was disappointed with how the meeting went. The purpose of the visit was mainly to meet the new local Director, and to discuss whether they wanted to be included in the next round of our externship program. The meeting was hardly productive, and I got the impression that had the staff not known Prof. Perritt so well and had Prof. Perritt not been quoted in the newspapers and shown on TV in Kosovo the prior two days, the whole meeting would have been a complete loss. Basically, the KLC's outlook seems pessimistic, but this may be partly attributable to the OSCE discontinuing its funding for the KLC next year.

We had a significantly better meeting with a law professor who just returned from a fellowship at my alma mater, USC. He seemed to be a very bright and energetic individual. We discussed the possibility of starting a new private law school in Prishtina. Personally, I think there were a lot of good ideas discussed in connection with the project.

We ended the day with a meeting at the Hotel Grand with Atdhe and Lulzim from KIPRED. To our surprise, Lulzim quickly ok'd submission of the proposal with KIPRED and EDA on it. It was a good ending to the day.

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