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Leaders clash over Kosovo: UN Security Council marked by conflict of positions between participants

This presentation of a report on the work of UNMIK and the situation in Kosovo is the last of this year and the last quarterly one, as these reports will be submitted every six months starting in 2020

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A UN Security Council session on Kosovo and Metohija was held in New York, where the report of the UN secretary-general on the work of UNMIK for the period from May 16 2019 to September 15 was discussed, with the position of Serbia represented by Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic.

This presentation of a report on the work of UNMIK and the situation in Kosovo is the last of this year and the last quarterly one, as these reports will be submitted every six months starting in 2020

Conflict of opinion of representatives of Russia and Great Britain

Addressing the session, Russia's representative Vasily Nebenzya said there was no room for optimism in Kosovo and Metohija because of Pristina's provocations.

Speaking about the vulnerability of minorities in so-called Kosovo, Nebenzya retorted to Vlora Citaku.

sirija, amerika, rusija, savet bezbednosti un

Photo: Tanjug/AP

"We're talking about what's going on today, not what was going on yesterday, Mrs. Citaku," Nebenzya said.

The UK representative, on the other hand, said it was imperative that the police of the fake state of Kosovo participate in operations in northern Kosovo and Metohija.

The US representative called for the departure of UN personnel from Kosovo and Metohija. He accused Serbia of provoking tensions with the campaign to secure withdrawals of Kosovo's recognition, calling it a "provocation."

However, he urged Pristina to suspend its taxes on goods from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Vlora Citaku: I am a proud citizen of Kosovo

Ambassador of so-called Kosovo in the US Vlora Citaku said she was an ethnic Albanian and a "proud citizen of Kosovo." She also commented on what Dacic said in his address about the potential prime minister of so-called Kosovo, Albin Kurti. Dacic warned UN Security Council members that Kurti was being photographed in an office with the flag of Albania rather than that of so-called Kosovo.

"He won the elections, repeatedly saying that he is committed to dialogue, but I have to say that I am amused by the fact that my Serbian colleague is defending the Kosovo flag. I can assure you that there will always be a Kosovo flag in the cabinet of the prime minister of Kosovo," Citaku said.

She added that Dacic did not mention that Kurti was a political prisoner in Serbia while he was the interior minister. Speaking about the recent elections in Kosovo, she said they were special for a number of reasons, testifying to the "maturity of democracy in Kosovo," but noted that several Election Commission members had to go to the hospital after counting some votes, claiming that Pristina wasn't pointing a finger at anyone. She accused Belgrade of intimidating Serbs in Kosovo and instrumentalizing them for its policy.

Vljora Čitaku

Printscreen: YouTube/Tanjug

"Let me remind you what happened to Oliver Ivanovic, who spoke independently," she said, adding that the Kosovo police were investigating, that they have questioned more than 100 witnesses, and claimed that the prime suspect was in Belgrade.

She disputed Belgrade's data that 200,000 people fled Kosovo in 1999.

- According to the 1981 census, about 209,000 Serbs lived in Kosovo. If Serbia claims that 200,000 Serbs left Kosovo, that means almost everyone, then who are the 16,000 Serbs who voted in the election two weeks ago - she asked.

She said that due to domestic circumstances, Kosovo has dropped its application for Interpol membership this year but that Pristina will again apply next year. She said that dialogue with Serbia is important, but also asked how Pristina is supposed to believe that Serbia is sincere in the reconciliation process when, so far, she said, it has not implemented almost anything agreed in Brussels.

On Albin Kurti

The Serbian foreign minister said that the potential prime minister of so-called Kosovo, Albin Kurti, is not abandoning the idea of ​​'Greater Albania', and asked whether some ambassadors having their photo taken with Kurti next to the flag of Albania means giving legitimacy to these dangerous and destabilizing intentions. He said that Kurti was a man who has, throughout his political engagement, advocated the idea of ​​'Greater Albania' and said that he has now shown he had no intention of giving up on that idea.

As he said, Kurti put the Albanian flag in a place of honor in his office in Pristina instead of that of so-called Kosovo.

"He wants to be prime minister of so-called Kosovo without the flag of Kosovo, but with the flag of Albania. The serious question is whether the fact that some diplomatic representatives of your countries who were photographed in this decor give legitimacy to these dangerous and destabilizing intentions. You have spent a lot of time saying that Serbia violates the integrity of Kosovo, and now they are sitting in the office of the future prime minister who denies Kosovo's integrity," Dacic told UNSC members.

Ivica Dačić

Printscreen: Tanjug

He asked them why they are silent now and what would happen if some of them came to his office, only to see he had set up the flag of the Serb Republic, which is a part of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

"Would you keep quiet to it calmly like in Pristina? Please warn these ambassadors that they are ambassadors in Pristina, not in Tirana. You are bringing me to an unpleasant situation to defend the territorial (integrity) of so-called Kosovo from Albin Kurti," Dacic said, recalling that Kurti was openly saying that he didn't want to talk to the Serb List.

On Vlora Citaku

The foreign minister recalled a series of false information that the ambassador of so-called Kosovo to the US Vlora Citaku had uttered during the last session, referring to her statement that Albanians had no right to use the Albanian language in Serbia.

"As a confirmation of this lie, I will show you what a document issued by the Serbian authorities in 1990, when Vlora Citaku was 10 years old, looked like. I will show you a birth certificate issued in Kosovo. Vlora Citaku is still a citizen of the Republic of Serbia and is registered in the birth records in the Pristina area under number 6194 for the year 1980," Dacic said at the UN Security Council session.

Ivica Dačić

Printscreen: YouTube/Tanjug

"Mrs. Citaku, would you like to take a look? You also have a birth certificate like this," Dacic said and showed the document.

The Serbian minister then indicated that Citaku never asked to be released from the Serbian citizenship:

"Maybe she will say now that it is irrelevant to her, but since the German representative is here, let her explain that to him - since Germany requires from every Albanian from Kosovo to provide a certificate of release from the Serbian citizenship," he said.

Dacic: Physical security, right of movement must be provided to Serbs in Kosovo

The head of Serbian diplomacy said that Serbs living in Kosovo need to live and cannot wait for leaders to come to an agreement. He stressed that the right to movement and physical security must be ensured.

Ivica Dačić

Printscreen: YouTube/Tanjug

"Serbia is ready to resume negotiations tomorrow, but only if the conditions are met," Minister Dacic said.

He recalled that despite the international community's condemnation of the taxes imposed on Serbian goods, they have been in place for months, while Pristina doesn't want to abolish them.

"If you are already calling on Serbia to stop its campaign for the withdrawal of recognitions of so-called Kosovo, then we expect you to stop lobbying in favor of their independence as well," Dacic said, addressing certain UN members, and adding that "we are small, but we are not stupid."

Zahir Tanin briefed leaders on details of the arrest of UNMIK members in Kosovo

The international community, after the election in Kosovo, expects new leaders to confirm their commitment to the talks with Belgrade and to ensure that obstacles to dialogue are removed, UNMIK chief Zahir Tanin told the UN Security Council meeting last night.

"A special effort should be made for political rhetoric and action to influence the progress of the dialogue after a year of a stalemate," Tanin said and welcomed the continued efforts of many international actors to resume political dialogue.

"I am convinced that the agreement between Belgrade and Pristina can only be sustainable if it is based on responsible action and the involvement of local participants in the process. It's important for the international community to be united and firm in its support of a sustainable agreement during the transition in Kosovo," said Tanin.

Zahir Tanin

Printscreen: YouTube/Tanjug

He assessed that early parliamentary elections in Kosovo had led to a significant change in Kosovo's political landscape. He said that the decision on early elections came at a time characterized by internal political divisions, lack of unity in the ruling coalition and the public's perception that they could not deliver on their promise.

He added that preliminary results indicate that the opposition has won, with Self-Determination and the Democratic Party of Kosovo.

"That change in the political environment was reflected in the voters' decision to support unconventional political candidates who do not share positions from the past," he said.

Areas with a Serb majority in Kosovo and Metohija have seen the highest turnout lately and the Serb List is likely to be the only political group of Kosovo Serbs in parliament, Tanin said. International observers said the elections were positive, but also mentioned challenges such as campaign financing, intimidation, and pressure on voters in Serb-majority areas.

"I hope that the new leadership will be able to use this election to fulfill its promise to the people that they will strengthen the rule of law and fight crime, unemployment," said Tanin.

He reminded the Council of the arrests of UNMIK members by the Pristina authorities.



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