Page 968 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 968

Bishop irinej Dobrijević
The Diocese of Raška-Prizren further emphatically states that he issue of the status of the Serbian people as a state-forming and constitutive nation on their own terri- tory, i.e., Kosovo and Metohija, where they are presently being denied basic rights and freedoms, has enormous im- portance for the local Serbian population and its future. However, this issue should not be allowed to have greater political priority than the preservation of state territory and the definition of Kosovo and Metohija as an autono- mous region within Serbia.9
Boris Tadić, Serbia’s first democratic president since World War ii, has also highlighted a solution to the prob- lem of Kosovo as a top priority for his a five-year mandate, describing the issue as a huge open wound in Serbia’s rela- tionship with europe. “We are deeply devoted to idea of democratic, rational, european solution for Kosovo based on UN Security Council Resolution 1244. We believe that dialoguebetweenSerbsand(Kosovo)albaniansiscrucial.” President Tadić robustly defends Belgrade’s view that the troubled United Nations administered province remains part of Serbia even though its ethnic albanian majority wants independence, which in his view is unacceptable, stating: Kosovo is not lost If Kosovo is ever lost for the Serbs it will also be lost for Europe 10
Decentralization: in order to facilitate the above, a plan for decentralization must be implemented, providing local au- tonomy within the framework of wider provincial autono- my for Kosovo and Metohija, within the Republic of Ser- bia, as foreseen in UN Security Council Resolution 1244. This would insure the territorial integrity of Serbia as the only guarantee for regional stability and provide for even- tual eU and NaTO accession for the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro.
9 Ibid
10 “First democratic president after Second World War,” (associ-
ated Press: 11 july 2004), and “Help Serbia as it turns toward the west, new president urges,” (Financial Times UK: Stefan Wagstyl), eRP KiM Newsletter 12-07-04:
Post-Yugoslav Western Balkans
Final Status: The determination of final status can nei- ther be seen as a reward for systematic violence and orga- nized terrorism, nor undertaken without the full involve- ment of the democratic Serbian government in Belgrade. Ultimately, this will permit the international Community to implement a sustained effort toward an enduring peace while securing freedom and tolerance in a truly multi-eth- nic and multi-confessional Kosovo and Metohija within an already multi-ethnic and multi-confessional Republic of Serbia.
Presented as a panelist on “ethnicity, Religion and Citizenship” at the interparliamentary Conference on Human Rights and Religious Freedom, (Bruxelles, Hotel eurovillage, 5 august 2004).
   Ethno-confessional conflicts will always exist in the world. They are most often the result of a differ- ence in demographic growth and change in the ethnic composition of the population. Nowhere else in this century, as in Kosovo and Metohija, can one find such violence, apartheid, and the expulsion of a people from its homes, fields and graveyards; nowhere else are human rights violated to such an extent on the grounds of ethnic origin, nowhere else is cultural, spiritual and historical legacy de- stroyed and negated to such an extent as the Serbian Kosovo heritage, nowhere else is aggressive na- tionalism so cynically triumphant, not to mention the responsibility of the most powerful military alli- ance in history. If all this is the announcement of the new millennium, then hardly anyone should re- joice in it.

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