Office for Kosovo head prevented from entering Kosovo

JARINJE -- Serbian Government's Office for Kosovo and Metohija Director Marko Đurić was on Tuesday prevented from entering the territory of the province.

(Tanjug, file)
(Tanjug, file)

He was turned back by the Kosovo police, from the Jarinje administrative crossing.

Đurić addressed reporters to say that the incident was "a flagrant violation of the agreement on freedom of movement and of all the principles that had been agreed in relation to the matter."

“I am afraid it will not remain without consequences. Quite certainly, this will not prevent Serbia's institutions from operating normally, but on the other hand, I am afraid that it is a bad signal when it comes to the normalization of relations between Belgrade and Priština,” Đurić told journalists at Jarinje.

“Therefore,” he added, “I urge the international community to help in overcoming the problem. Our desire is not to create additional tension, but rather to solve problems through dialogue.”

“Nobody will prevent or stop us in the normal performance of our job,” stressed Đurić.

When asked why he was prevented from entering Kosovo, he said he received “a shameful excuse” from the Kosovo police that the ban order had arrived from Priština.

After a short stay at the crossing, situated near the town of Raška in south-central Serbia, Đurić returned to central Serbia.

The official was headed for Banjska, to attend a groundbreaking ceremony there for housing units financed by the office that he heads.

Đurić was also to visit Zvečan and the mining complex Trepča, and confer with representatives of Serbs in northern Kosovo.

Last week, Belgrade's liaison officer in Priština, Dejan Pavićević, was also prevented from entering Kosovo.