Bogdanovic: Kosovska Mitrovica court "cannot be allowed"

Serbian Minister for Kosovo Goran Bogdanovic says that the opening of a court in northern, Serb part of the divided town of Kosovska Mitrovica, "cannot be allowed".

(KosovoCompromise Staff) Thursday, July 08, 2010

The minister noted that this was the case, "unless the intention was to impose unilateral decisions and solutions on Serbs".

Bogdanovic also said that the Ministry of Justice and EU mission in the province, EULEX, were in talks concerning the opening of the court, announced for July 15.

"We wish to know the court's jurisdiction, who its judges will be, which laws they will apply, since this cannot be imposed by either EULEX or the Kosovo (Albanian) authorities," said he.

Bogdanovic also stated it was high time for international missions in Kosovo to "truly fulfill their obligations and look into their mandates".

"Too many innocent people have died because of the passive attitude exhibited by the international community toward the problem of Serbs in Kosovo" said the minister.

According to Bogdanovic, after last week's hand grenade attack against a Serb protest in Kosovska Mitrovica that killed one person, "intensive talks" took place with EULEX and KFOR representatives, when Belgrade demanded that the perpetrators be found as soon as possible.

"We have told the international community representatives in Kosovo that unilateral moves are directed at intimidating the Serb community, but also against stability and peace."

The minister appraised that "unilateral Kosovo institutions did not and cannot bring any good to the Serb community", added that those Serbs who wish to participate in their work cannot be prevented, and spoke in favor of agreement and compromise as a way to find solutions to all problems.

"The (ethnic) Albanian side, which has so far made these unilateral moves, must realize this too, unless they want a deterioration of the situation. They must honestly look at the problems and accept negotiations as the only way to stabilize the situation," Bogdanovic stated.

The minister also called on "all the largest world institutions to influence not only the representatives of their missions in Kosovo, but also the leaders of (ethnic) Albanians, in order to stop using their unilateral decision to further repress Serbs".