Home Page
news 06 Dec 12

Serbian Church Accuses Govt of 'Suicide' on Kosovo

Scenting a softening of Serbia's claim to the former province, the Serbian Orthodox Christian Church has accused the government of being an accomplice to international plans to 'cut its jugular and take out Serbia's heart'.

Bojana Barlovac BIRN Belgrade

In a strongly worded letter, the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church has demanded that Serbia's authorities stop taking part it what it called "the country's suicide" over Kosovo.

"It is perfectly clear to every reasonable man that the Western powers, after the NATO bombing war [in 1999] are step-by-step creating the state of Kosovo for Kosovo Albanians while getting Serbia to act as their accomplice... cutting her jugular and taking its heart from its bosom, her holy land of Kosovo and Metohija," the letter said.

The letter was sent on Thursday to the Serbian President, Tomislav Nikolic, the Prime Minister, Ivica Dacic, the First Deputy Prime Minister, Aleksandar Vucic, and to opposition leaders.

It remains unclear who sent the letter on behalf of the Church as, after it was released on Thursday, some bishops denied that anyone in the Church had sent it while other bishops confirmed it.

The letter further criticizes the government's Kosovo policy and the deals that Belgrade has reached with Pristina during EU-mediated talks, which started in March 2011, three years after Kosovo declared independence.

“We expect the government and parliament to reconsider all agreements of the previous government about [border] ‘crossings’ that have not been approved by parliament instead of accepting the [EU-brokered] 'integrated border management’ agreement,” the document says.

The letter comes a day after Dacic and his Kosovo counterpart, Hashim Thaci, agreed that implementation of an earlier border agreement will start on December 10 on two border crossings.

Under the terms of the IBM agreement, Kosovo and Serbian customs and police officers will stand under one roof once the agreement is put into operation.

The Church said the government should also seek guarantees from the international community for the return of thousands of expelled citizens from Kosovo, and restoration to them of their homes and churches, and should pass a law on restitution of the state and church property in Kosovo before any other talks take place.

According to the document, the state should also demand removal of the US military base, Camp Bondsteel, from Kosovo, and stop "the cowboy-style illegal occupation of Serbian lands and mineral resources in Kosovo".

The document also calls for investigations before international courts into allegations that top Kosovo officials were part of an organised crime network that trafficked in organs.

President Nikolic met with Patriarch Irinej, head of the Church, three times since he became president in May. The purpose of the visits was to seek the Church's support for government policy on Kosovo.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Serbia - Kosovo Relations: Latest Headlines

kosovo-platform-obstructs-serbia-s-eu-path News 22 May 15 Serbian PM Cool on President's Kosovo 'Platform'

Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic queried the practicality of President Tomislav Nikolic’s new 'platform' on Kosovo, which experts say would complicate Serbia’s path to EU membership.

high-hopes-of-kosovo-serbs-for-the-new-platform News 05 May 15 Kosovo Serbs Say President’s Plan is ‘Last Hope’

Kosovo Serbs hope that President Tomislav Nikolic’s new ‘Kosovo platform’ will finally address the longstanding issue of Serbs who were abducted or went missing during and after the war.

degrees-collect-dust-in-kosovo-serbia-diploma-war Feature 30 Apr 15 Degrees Collect Dust in Kosovo-Serbia Diploma War

Kosovo and Serbia’s refusal to recognize each other’s educational qualifications is hurting minorities in both countries.

brussels-agreement-implementation-heavily-delayed-says-report news 24 Apr 15 Too Few Serbia-Kosovo Deals Implemented, Report

Implementation of the normalization agreement between Kosovo and Serbia has been patchy, with only four of the 17 agreements being put into action since 2011, a new report says.

serb-representatives-return-to-kosovo-parliament-and-govt News 24 Apr 15 Serbs Call off Boycott of Kosovo Parliament

Following a two-month boycott of Kosovo institutions, Serbian representatives are returning to government after receiving assurances concerning their agreement with coalition partners.

serbian-official-insists-on-visit-despite-refusal-from-kosovo News 23 Apr 15 Serbian Official Defiant Over Kosovo Visit

A senior Serbian official has said he will proceed with his visit to Kosovo, even though it has not been approved by the Kosovo authorities.

belgrade-pristina-talks-yield-few-results News 22 Apr 15 Kosovo Agrees Halt to Disputed Privatisations

At the latest Belgrade-Pristina talks in Brussels, Kosovo agreed not to unilaterally privatize companies in the mainly Serbian north without seeking the consent of the community.



eu-helps-create-balkan-transport-network News 22 Apr 15 EU Hails Balkan Transport Network Deal

Leaders of six Western Balkans countries meeting on Tuesday in Brussels agreed on plans for a regional transport network, to which the EU has pledged 130 million euros.

kosovo-belgrade-replied-with-a-threat-1 News 20 Apr 15 Kosovo FM Thaci’s Belgrade Visit Cancelled

A Belgrade-based NGO which asked Kosovo Foreign Minister Hashim Thaci to visit the Serbian capital for a conference has revoked the invitation, blaming what it said was political pressure.

thaci-mulls-belgrade-visit-amid-arrest-warning News 16 Apr 15 Kosovo’s Thaci Given Serbia Arrest Warning

Kosovo foreign minister Hashim Thaci could attend an NGO conference in Belgrade later this month although a warrant for his arrest for alleged war crimes is still active in Serbia.