In Kosovo, it all started with lies, Security Council told

The justice minister has warned of Pristina's unacceptable use of dialogue and the normalization process to blackmail the Serbian side and European partners.

Source: B92, Beta
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Nela Kuburovic spoke before a UN Security Council session dedicated to the latest report of UN secretary-general on the work of UNMIK.

Kuburovic said that Serbia, despite numerous challenges, continues to play a constructive, responsible and committed role in the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue with the aim of resolving outstanding issues under the status-neutral framework, the Serbian government said on its website.

"Our country wants to contribute in this way to the stabilization of the situation and the creation of conditions for the smooth progress of the Western Balkan region towards EU membership," she said.

Kuburovic pointed out that such an attitude of Pristina culminated in early March when the Kosovo parliament adopted a resolution on the termination of dialogue, which is in fact linked to the fate of one person who is accused of the most monstrous crimes.

The problems which members of non-Albanian communities in Kosovo and Metohija are facing, as well as an intensive anti-Serb campaign have contributed, as she pointed out, to maintaining a constant level of ethnically motivated attacks on Serbs.

Kuburovic also pointed out that the crisis in Kosovo and Metohija started with lies that had been promoted by "people like William Walker" who today does not even hide his aspirations towards Greater Albania and projects for achieving that.

Walker, who was Head of the Kosovo Verification Mission of the OSCE, had the duty to act in an objective and impartial manner, but he had abused his mandate and the OSCE Mission in order to achieve goals that are now exposed and include formation of an independent Kosovo and Greater Albania.

Failure of the OSCE Mission and the exercising of great pressure on Helena Ranta to modify her forensic report according to his wishes, the sending of a false report on the alleged massacre of civilians in the village of Racak, for themselves, and especially in the context of recent statements by Walker about the plan to create a Greater Albania clearly show that he acted in a way that is an abuse of the mandate of the OSCE, and thus also a violation of 1203 Security Council Resolution (1998), Kuburovic stated.

The way in which William Walker acted and the use of armed force against the Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia cannot be qualified in any other way but as a flagrant violation of principles on which the organization of the United Nations is based, Kuburovic concluded.

"Fear is in the air"

Head of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) Zahir Tanin warned on May 16 of growing tensions in Kosovo and diminished trust between Belgrade and Pristina, resulting from irresponsible comments on both sides.

Tanin said at UN Security Council session on Kosovo that the demise of the ruling coalition and an early election might reshape Kosovo's future, Beta reported.

The UNMIK chief said that frequent elections in Serbia and Kosovo hampered the talks, effectively suspended and at a standstill. Tanin cautioned that the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue was of key importance for the normalization of their relations.

The UN official said that public discourse deteriorated to intolerant, nationalist rhetoric. To illustrate the point, Tanin mentioned a resolution by the Kosovo parliament to suspend the dialogue until a former Kosovo Liberation Army leader, Ramush Haradinaj, returned home from French custody, then comments by his brother, Daut Haradinaj, and Haradinaj's war cries and calling Serbia an enemy.

The UNMIK chief was as critical of Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic's reference to Haradinaj as a "rabid dog who has tasted human flesh." Tanin warned that incitements to hatred of this magnitude exceeded normal public discourse, and that "reason" would burn out owing to the irresponsible comments and actions. He was confident that recent statements by Kosovo's officials on the creation of a Greater Albania and the way the Serbian authorities had responded could hardly lead to reconciliation and normalization.

Tanin praised the upcoming opening for traffic of the bridge across the Ibar River, cautioning that fear was in the air, not optimism.

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