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Djurić: The internal dialogue will contribute to Serbia’s overall security

February 6, 2018. Source: Tanjug

The Director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija and the Chairmen of the Internal Dialogue Working Group, Marko Djurić, assessed that there is no doubt the internal dialogue will contribute to Serbia’s overall security, and that the security of our entire country, from the villages in the municipality of Gora to Horgoš, depends on the issue of Kosovo and Metohija.

Marko Djurić

Photo: RTS

“Solving the Kosovo and Metohija issue is one of the key determinants of the security of our country, and it is therefore important for the smartest Serbian heads, the best strategic thinkers to talk about it”, Djurić emphasized in his address to the media following the round table “Political-security and defense aspects of the Kosovo-Metohija problem”, held in the framework of the internal dialogue on Kosovo and Metohija.

He assessed that what is important for Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija is the message of the President Aleksandar Vučić that Serbia will not allow the repetition of pogroms and persecutions of the Serbian people in the southern province, days like March 17 and the attack on Serbian people.

“We will double our efforts in 2018 to help Serbs remain in Kosovo and Metohija. Even today, when we haven’t had full control for 18 years and do not fully exercise authority, Serbia is the largest contributor to education, health care and many other aspects. We are proud of that and we will continue doing so. In this way, we show how the state of Serbia is the home land of all those who want to be its part”, he stressed.

He said that the Serbian national issue should be observed fully and that the position of Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija is related to the fate of Serbs everywhere.

He announced that in a couple of days, a report with details on how has Serbia helped the Serbian people will be presented.

He asked from the international community to exert adequate pressure on Priština to implement its commitments, reminding us that we have been waiting for the Community of Serbian Municipalities for four years now.

“If they were committed to exerting pressure, as for something that is in their interest, the waiting would not last so long. In our eyes, this affects their negotiating credibility, if not capacity”, Djurić believes.

Regarding the legally binding agreement, he told reporters that they should ask the bureaucrats in Brussels about it.

“I would like to see the establishment of CSM in a much more prominent place among the conditions and requirements”, Djurić said.

Regarding the dialogue with Priština, he said that Serbia has waited for Priština for over a year due to unjustified circumstances, never fleeing, but that Serbia now has serious reasons to primarily find facts about the February 16 murder.

Vulin: No stability, without a solution to the Serbian national issue

The Minister of Defense of Serbia, Aleksandra Vulin, assessed today that it is not enough to only solve the Kosovo-Metohija issue, but that there is no lasting stability and peace in the Balkans without solving the national issue of Serbs.

In his address at the roundtable “Political-security and defense aspects of the Kosovo-Metohija problem”, held within the framework of the internal dialogue on Kosovo and Metohija, he pointed out that resolving the Kosovo-Metohija issue cannot happen without resolving the national issue of Serbs in the Balkans.

“After two centuries of persistent, tough fighting, sometimes more successful, sometimes less, the Serbian people have not resolved its national issue. The civil war that broke the SFRY left the Serbian people divided, developed in countries it did not chose, in states that consider it to be a disruptive factor”, Vulin said.

As he said, this brings us to the conclusion that the civil war on the territory of the former SFRY had a common characteristic - conflict and confrontation with Serbs. Even where there were no organized Serbs, and where no one could imagine that a conflict with Serbs was possible”, the Minister stressed.

He pointed out that Serbs did not show the tendency to settle in anyone’s area, and that some others have done so.

Vulin emphasized that the relations of Serbia towards the region, its neighbors, must be equivalent to their relations with the representatives of the Serbian community living on their territory.

“It is not possible to present the Serbian community as a disruptive factor, threating the existence of that state, and say that relations with Serbia are ascending. The relationship you have with Serbs living next to you is the same relationship you have with Serbia. Serbia has a legitimate right to protect the members of its people. All states that have the privilege to have Serbs living in their territory should treat them with respect”, he stressed.

He pointed out that in European integrations, which are the strategic goal of Serbia, we shouldn’t be conditioned to abandon the resolution of the national issue of Serbs.

We have been trying to resolve this issue for two decades and, according to him, this should not be left to the Brussels administration.

Pointing out that this is his personal stance, and that the Serbian Army will, as always in history, be on the side of its people and a constant support, Vulin said that the stability in the Balkans will depend on how much will Balkan nations be satisfied with the resolution of their national issue.

“The former SFRY broke up because it did succeed in resolving the national issue. Conflicts in the Balkans are always conflicts between nations. Those on the Balkans who have not resolved the national issue, have failed to resolve lasting peace and stability”, he said, adding that great powers also need to be convinced of this.

Vulin said that the new reality is that the Albanian people will live in a single security area, after Macedonia joins NATO in an accelerated manner, as is expected, and will hence have political significance in all countries in which they live, and also when it comes to the relations with Serbs and Serbia.

“There is no essential difference between Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro and the territory of Kosovo and Metohija. This is why the creation of a “Greater Albania” must be stopped”, he underlined.

Vulin said that the crucial question – to which we have to give an answer – is how to stop the creation of a “Greater Albania”, and added that the declarations about Albanians reaching Niš must not be taken lightly because this message was not condemned by any political representative of the Albanian people in every country of the region.

“This is why stopping the creation of a “Greater Albania” must burst forth in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija”, the Minister underscored.

He said that permanent and secure delimitation between the Serbs and Albanians must be established in Kosovo and Metohija, but he also added that the delimitation process could not be concluded without having fulfilled, agreed upon and completed everything, which means that the Brussels Agreement must be implemented in its entirety, that the Community of Serbian Municipalities must be established, etc.

“Serbia does not have the luxury to give away a territory, both political and economic one, to allow the creation of a “Greater Albania” within its boundaries, and to allow her boundaries to be charted by someone else. We do not seek to achieve a solution with Priština, but with Tirana. The Albanian factor in the Balkans is not randomly arranged, fragmented, but it is rather unified, determined by very precise ideas and directions”, he declared, while adding that so-called idea of a “Greater Albania” is the main source of instability in the Balkans.

He reiterated that Kosovo and Metohija’s frozen conflict was not an only one that Serbian people have.

“The conflict with the Albanian nation is not the only one and we do not want to talk about the position of our people and the future solely with this nation. If the conflict of Kosovo and Metohija is not good for the future of both Albanians and Serbs, this means that no other frozen conflict is good for us and for our neighbors in the Balkans. The Kosovo and Metohija issue often seems as a single important issue in the national sense, but that is not the case”, Vulin declared.

He dismissed the critiques saying that the Serbian Army did not had the right to be included in the internal dialogue, and reiterated that the Army was one of the most respected parts of our society and that it had the right and duty to say its mind, even more than some non-governmental organizations which deemed that their existence is reason enough to say what they meant.

He indicated that the initiative of the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, to talk about Kosovo and Metohija, was an act of political and personal courage.

“During the last two centuries, no one had the courage to comprehend the essence of the issue of Kosovo and Metohija so deeply”, Vulin noted.

The address for solving the conflict between the Serbs and Albanians is in Tirana, not in Priština

The Minister of Defense, Aleksandar Vulin stressed out today that the true address for solving the issue of the historical conflict between two nations, the Albanian one and the Serbian one, is undisputedly located in Tirana, not in Priština, because the politics of Albanians is being formulated in Albania.

“We are speaking about the historical conflict of two nations, on two parts of the territory, or two parts of this nation. Wherever Tirana has prevailing influence, and this is the case wherein the Albanian community is represented in the governments, this is where the negative relation towards the Serbs and Serbia is dominant”, he said at the press conference after the round table “Political-security and defense aspects of the Kosovo-Metohija problem”, which is being held within the internal dialogue on Kosovo and Metohija.

Vulin declared that this issue pertains to the idea of a “Greater Albania”, and not just to the addressing of the problem of Kosovo and Metohija.

“This pertains to the animosity towards the notion of a “Greater Albania”, which is very clearly, in the political and geographical sense of the word, trying to mark its borders”, he pointed out, adding that we are facing the ideology of expansionism.

According to him, the aim of the reached agreement would be to stop the formation of a “Greater Albania” after an entire century, because so far it has only progressed.

“When it comes to the “Greater Albania”, it is important to stop its aggressive progress in order to have peace in the Balkans and in order for the Balkans to have its future”, he noted.

At the same time, he criticized the lack of reaction regarding the declarations of Albanians that they were planning to reach Niš.

“Only a united and economically strong Serbia will pose as a barrier preventing the advance of the “Greater Albania””, he reiterated.

He underlined the truthiness in the statement that the frozen conflict in Kosovo and Metohija must not be left to the children, but he also emphasized that we must not leave other issues of the Serbian people in various territories unresolved.

Vulin also warned the countries, wherein the Serbian community is living, that their relation with Serbia will depend on how they treat the Serbs.

“The way you treat the Serbs with whom you live – the same should be applied to Serbia, next to which you live”, Vulin pointed out.

He noted that the duty of all in Serbia is to take part in the internal dialogue, while praising the President, Aleksandar Vučić, on his state and personal courage which he demonstrated by initiating the internal dialogue.

When asked about the statement of the provincial president, Hashim Thaci, about the possibility of reaching the “historical agreement” this year, Vulin responded that we have the Constitution, the laws and ways which provide for this, and that he does not think this problem could be described as a resolved matter, pertaining to one part of the Serbian national issue.

“It is necessary to address the Serbian national issue in its entirety in order for us to provide long-lasting and sustainable area for life and peace of our children”, he added.

When it comes to the new Strategy of the European Commission, Vulin declared that a collision within the text itself was evident because, as he cited, Serbia had to reach a legally binding document with Kosovo which was not mentioned in the text and which they did not regard as a legal state.

“Our path towards the EU will not determine the nature of our actions in Kosovo and Metohija. The said actions will be determined by what we think is good for Serbian people, and not by what the European bureaucracy finds pleasing”, Vulin pointed out.