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Daily press briefing of the Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija
Gracanica, July 19, 2000
Lord Robertson especially stressed that a democratic society in Kosovo cannot be built through violence and especially appealed to Albanian leaders to go beyond mere rhetoric condemning violence and to concretely name the perpetrators of crimes. “We will protect the Serbs, whether you like it or not,” emphasized Lord Robertson to the Albanian leaders. “Stop the violence if you want to stop cantonization... We are opposed to division, cantonization and enclavization but the facts lead to enclavization because that is the only way of protecting the minorities from extremists who want to continue the violence against them,” said Robertson.
The NATO secretary general warned the Serb representatives that failure to participate in the elections would have certain consequences with which the Serb people would have to live and he also emphasized that the Serbs must understand all that the Albanians have been through during the war and do everything possible to participate in the construction of a joint administration.
The representatives of the SNC are prepared to talk with the Albanian side openly regarding all issues but the position of the SNC will depend exclusively upon the adopted Council platform as well as the basic provisions of Resolution 1244 which is the only legal document which regulates the situation in Kosovo and Metohija. The intent of the SNC remains to demonstrate its willingness for dialogue and good faith but also a firm and clear position with regard to issues which are outside the jurisdiction of the Council itself. It is most unfortunate that representatives from Mitrovica have declined to participate in the conference. As on numerous previous occasions, the inability to make the voice of Mitrovica heard is leading to increasing international isolation of the Serb community of this city. The SNC expresses its great satisfaction that the north of the province will be represented by leaders of the local SN Councils of Leposavic and Zubin Potok.
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