Church criticizes Brussels agreement

BELGRADE -- The Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) has issued a statement regarding the agreement proposal between Belgrade and Priština, reached in Brussels.

The Holy Synod of said that the deal constitutes an indirect and silent but still practical' recognition of the government system in Kosovo and Metohija which is independent of Serbia's government structures, and warned that the price of Serbia's potential EU membership would be the formal recognition of an independent Kosovo.

There is no doubt that after such a prohibitive price for the fabled date of accession talks with an unknown number of new conditions and uncertain outcome, the price of EU accession itself would probably be embodied in the formal recognition of an independent Kosovo by Serbia and its obligation not to interrupt Kosovo's path to UN membership, the Synod said in a release.

The Synod recalled that the initial agreement proposal between Belgrade and Priština was signed by Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dačić and the Kosovo prime minister, 'an individual wanted by the Interpol'.

The Synod noted that this undeniably seems as a complete withdrawal of Serbia's institutions from the territory of its southern province and setting up limited autonomy of the Serb community in the area to the north of the Ibar Bridge in Kosovska Mitrovica within Hashim Thaci's establishment.

The SPC believes that the situation is further aggravated by the fact that the Serbian government agreed to an uninterrupted European integration process for Taci's Kosovo, and underscored that the agreement does not refer to Metohija which has a strong Orthodox and Serb note to it, and there is no mention of Serbia in the context either.

This is more of a simple surrender or some sort of a bargain with the most important territory in spiritual and historical terms which has belong to Serbia for centuries, the Church said and added that this move was designed by major masterminds to mark the 100th anniversary of the liberation of the old Serbia from the Ottoman Empire after five centuries of slavery.

The SPC believes that even a partition of the territory would make a fairer and more sustainable solution compared to the agreement (reached in Brussels), the SPC Synod said and asked about the reasons behind the visit of Serbia's high delegation to Moscow several days ago if it was already willing to accept the maximum possibilities which was below the minimum of the desired.

The Synod called on Serbian MPs and the president to determine and reconsider their moral and historical responsibility before God, the history of Serbia and their own conscience when deciding whether to grant or deny the consent of the Republic of Serbia to such an agreement proposal.

The Church also called on Serbs not to recognize the tyranny of force and injustice and to view Kosovo-Metohija as their country for all times while at the same time regarding it as the land of the ethnic Albanians who have been living there together with Serbia for centuries.