"Foreign services' fingerprints in Greater Albania stories"

Aleksandar Vucic has described recent Albanian politicians' statements about creating "a Greater Albania" as "the consequence of a well-coordinated campaign."

Source: Beta
Vucic speaks in Leskovac on Tuesday (Tanjug)
Vucic speaks in Leskovac on Tuesday (Tanjug)

The prime minister and president-elect said this "coordination" is happening between Albanian politicians from Albania, those from Kosovo and Metohija, but also those from the Presevo area in central Serbia.

"In that sense there are only a few questions: are Albanians doing this by themselves or in coordination with someone else, from our own, or perhaps even from some other continent, why now, and, what their true intentions are," Vucic said in Leskovac, southern Serbia, where he attended the ceremonial opening of a stretch of railroad.

According to Vucic, "many failed to understand it well" when he told President Tomislav Nikolic, after a meeting in Brussels, that he "never saw Albanians like that" and remarked that they were "completely uninterested in the dialogue with Belgrade, and also had a different attitude toward the EU."

"I'm not sure what their end game is. Our services have found traces of activities of one foreign service with agencies from Albania and Pristina. But that's not enough, because this is not one of the world's greatest powers, and that's not enough for this kind of self-confidence," Vucic has been quoted as saying by Beta.

However, Vucic continued, Serbia is "ready to guard its own," and described himself as "completely determined and assured" when he says that Serbia "knows that its territory is, and that Belgrade isn't bothering anyone."

"Everyone can say what they wish, but they cannot do what they wish against the constitutional order. I don't know what and where you will form, but I know it won't be on Serbia's territory. I provide every guarantee for that and you have my firm word. And you know it well that I care about my word," he said, adding that "Serbia wants peace and stability but will not allow humiliation and territory grabbing."

Vucic said there was "the possibility of Albanians mentioning 'Greater Albania' every day in order to legitimize the idea, so that everyone gets used to it and so that speaking about it becomes normal, without anyone reacting."

He then thanked EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn for reacting "to those statements" - because that was "very important."

"I was puzzled by the severity of Hashim Thaci's attack on the EU and Hahn, regardless of that reaction being in its mildest form. Regardless of the fact some are facing elections and a political crisis in Albania, that's not enough. There's something else there. Perhaps the EU is underestimating what is happening in Tirana and Pristina, and in a part of the local authorities in Presevo," said Vucic.

Vucic added that one of the leaders of Albanians from southern Serbia, Bujanovac Mayor Jonuz Musliu, has been "included in the attempts to provoke Serbia to react and then make a national hero out of him, by claiming that the Albanians' human rights are threatened."

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