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The Information Service of the Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija

Daily press briefing of the Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija

Gracanica, October 24, 2000

  • Bishop Artemije's Berlin visit continues
  • Meeting with representatives of the CDU-CSU coalition
  • Meeting with representatives of the FDP
  • Business lunch with representatives of the SDP's Foreign Policy Group
  • German Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues statement upon Bishop Artemije's visit
  • Bishop Artemije pleased with Berlin visit

    Today (October 24) is the final day of the official visit of the Episcope of Raska and Prizren, Artemije, and Protosyncellus Sava Janjic to Berlin at the invitation of the German minister of foreign affairs, Mr. Joseph Fischer. Following yesterday's meeting with Minister Fischer and representative of the Green Alliance, today meetings were held with representatives of the CDU, CSU, FDP and SDP foreign policy groups


    Bishop Artemije and Father Sava met today with the task group for foreign affairs of the parliamentary bloc of the CDU-CSU (Christian Democratic Alliance and the Christian Social Alliance) in the Bundestag building. Before more than twenty eminent German members of parliament, the representatives of the SNC presented their views on the situation in Kosovo and Metohija and also appealed for a stop to the violence against Serbs and the enabling of refugee returns to their homes. The future of Kosovo and Metohija lies in the development of a civil and democratic society within the framework of a democratic Serbia and FRY, not in the creation of an ethnically pure Albanian state, emphasized the members of the Serb delegation.


    After this meeting, Episcope Artemije and Father Sava were received by the parliamentary bloc of the FDP's (The Liberal Free Democratic Party) representatives for foreign, European, security and developmental policies in the Bundestag where the Serb representatives again appealed for an urgent stop to the violence and the systematic discrimination which the Albanians in Kosovo and Metohija are applying against the Serbs. Bishop Artemije also spoke about the kidnapped Serbs and destroyed churches after which one of the representatives very strongly stated that German KFOR did not go to Kosovo and Metohija in order to enable the carrying out ethnic cleansing and new repression against Serbs and other non-Albanians under the protection of the peacekeeping mission.


    After visiting the plenary hall and the Bundestag cupola accompanied by officials of the German ministry of foreign affairs, the members of the Serb delegation from Kosovo and Metohija attended a business lunch in the Hotel Adlon prepared by Dr. Eberhardt Brecht, the chairman of the task group for southeastern Europe of the parliamentary bloc of the SDP in the Bundestag. The lunch was also attended by members of the task group and Bishop Artemije and Father Sava on this occasion also spoke about the problems in Kosovo and Metohija, emphasizing the need for urgent economic investment in the development of Serb enclaves and a stop to the violence being carried out by the Albanians.

    The day concluded with a press conference and lecture in the Serbian Orthodox church in Berlin where Bishop Artemije spoke of the Golgotha of the Serbian people and their Church in Kosovo and Metohija in front of a large audience.


    Yesterday the German ministry of foreign affairs issued an official statement upon the meeting of Minister Fischer and Episcope Artemije. The ministry confirmed that the sum of 1 million German marks had been approved in order to offer assistance to the endangered Serb population in Kosovo and Metohija and expressed serious concern and condemnation because of the continuation of attacks against Serbs and Roma.


    Following the business portion of the visit to Berlin, Episcope Artemije stated for the Information Service of the Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija that he was particularly pleased with the visit to Berlin and the opportunity to present the issue of the suffering of the Serb people and their Church, especially in the post-war period, at the highest levels.

    "The primary accent of our visit is the intention to present the truth about our suffering and to ask for the help and greater understanding of the German government. We expect that representatives of our democratic government will discuss matters of state with their German colleagues in the near future. We wanted to take advantage of this opportunity, as residents of Kosovo, to acquaint Minister Fischer and the German parliamentarians of our first-hand experience with the injustices and crimes which the Kosovo Albanians have been systematically carrying out against Serbs, Roma, Bosniacs and other ethnic communities in the presence of the international peacekeeping mission for more than a year and half," stated Bishop Artemije.

    "In only two business days we have had the opportunity to speak with not only our host, Minister Fischer, who demonstrated a high degree of understanding and willingness to help, but also with almost sixty German members of the Bundestag from all major political parties and groups directly participating in the forming of Germany's foreign policies toward the Balkans and especially Kosovo," said Bishop Artemije. "This invitation by the German minister of foreign affairs and the attention shown us during the course of the visit and during the presentation of our views confirms the clear position that Germany desires to assume an even more constructive position with respect to the issue of Kosovo, especially in the light of the most recent democratic changes in Belgrade. We are especially pleased that not one of the people with whom we spoke supported the idea of an independent Kosovo and by the fact that the German government firmly upholds the implementation of Resolution 1244."

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