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Daily press briefing of the Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija
Gracanica, October 12, 2000
During the talks, which took place in a sincere and friendly atmosphere, it was agreed to organize as soon as possible a meeting of representatives of all Serb democratic forces in the Province in order to construct a joint Serb platform for Kosovo and Metohija in light of the most recent changes in Belgrade. By the victory of democratic forces in Belgrade conditions have been created for Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija to act on the realization of their political and national program with the full cooperation and coordination of the democratic government which will with full authority represent state interests and fight for the endangered rights of its citizens. That is why the priority task is for Kosovo Serbs to act in unison and to transcend their previous disagreements through compromise, emphasized Father Sava for which the representatives of the SNC of Mitrovica also expressed their support.
It is the firm position of the SNC that the political activity of the Kosovo Serbs should be based on willingness to cooperate with the international UN mission and democratic forces of Kosovo Albanians only if all parties in the dialog firmly adhere to the provisions of Resolution 1244, which foresees the construction of temporary democratic institutions in the province with full respect for the sovereignty of FRY.
Since it is of great importance that the voice of the Serbs be heard as clearly and loudly as possible, especially today when the entire world expects a democratic and more constructive approach to the resolution of the Kosovo problem from the Serb side, the SNC believes that it would be of great importance to have representatives from northern Kosovo participate in the work of the Interim Administrative Council of Kosovo as soon as possible.
At the present time the SNC of Mitrovica is participating in the work of the Joint Committee on Returns to which Mr. Oliver Ivanovic is making a very constructive contribution.
Protosyncellus Sava repeated the firm position of the SNC that the aggressive Albanian insistence of independence prior to beginning any kind of political dialog with democratic representatives of the government in Belgrade is very detrimental to the political process and entire security situation in the Balkans. Political dialog between the Kosovo Albanians and Serbs will be possible only if the Albanian side as well fully acknowledges the authority of UN Resolution 1244 and the fact that the task of the UN Mission in Kosovo is to create political institutions for the substantial autonomy of Kosovo and Metohija within the framework of FRY. Serb representatives will not be able to actively participate in the construction of Kosovo institutions if their goal is a priori the secession of Kosovo and Metohija from FRY and Serbia, and if the ethnic discrimination and acts of terror by the Albanian community against the Serbs and other minority communities in the Provinces continues. Conditions for constructive political dialog, which was not possible during the dictatorial rule of Slobodan Milosevic, have now been created, emphasized the representative of the SNC.
On the other hand, it is the clear position of SNC that the past policies of Belgrade toward Kosovo, especially the behavior of the former regime during the war, must be reviewed openly and critically so that the new government can affirm its moral credibility in the defense of state sovereignty and the endangered rights of its citizens. The SNC has previously very strongly condemned the crimes of representatives of the Milosevic regime which the Kosovo Serbs have been paying for more than a year with their lives. It is especially important that the issue of missing persons is approached in a constructive manner. However, it is unacceptable that only the issue of Albanian prisoners is addressed while in Kosovo nothing concrete is being done toward the finding and freeing of more than 1,200 kidnapped and missing Serbs in the post-war period.
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