“Kosovo partition not option”

Bajram Rexhepi said that Priština does not support the partitioning of Kosovo, even though there are many who would like to see that happen.

Source: FoNet

The Kosovo Albanian Interior Minister told the FoNet news agency that the Kosovo government, through the Ahtisaari plan, is trying to enable a better standard of local self-administration for the Serb communities.

He said that a “partition is not a solution” and warned that it would lead to a “domino effect” in the region, naming the Republic of Srpska, which is unacceptable for Priština and the international community.

“While Prime Minister Đinđić was alive, that kind of solution might have been possible, because he had the support of European governments. At that moment, it was thought that there was no other solution,” Rexhepi said.

“The current government in northern (Kosovska) Mitrovica is not a legal one,” Rexhepi said regarding the parallel structures linked with Belgrade operating in the north of Kosovo.

Asked whether Serbs will need passports to enter Kosovo soon, Rexhepi said that this was a “false statement made by one of the prime minister’s advisers.”

“We are very careful about such decisions and are coordinating them with the international community. We will propose to the Serbian citizens, whether Serb or Albanian, that they will be able to cross the border with biometric personal identification cards,” he said.

“We will see how those that do not have one will cross the border, but it is not our goal to ask for passports immediately,” Rexhepi said.

He rejected the Serbian accusations that monasteries in Kosovo will not be safe if guarded by the Kosovo police.

“We see these buildings as the religious and cultural heritage of Serbs, and all the citizens of Kosovo. We have an interest in preserving them because of tradition,” Rexhepi said.

He also said that some Serb church officials are politicizing the issue and are calling on Serbia to not accept the protection of the Kosovo police.

Rexhepi said that he expects that the enthroning of Patriarch Irinej will be organized without problems in Kosovo, adding that “if a license is asked for” it will be received for the event.