Serbs set up Assembly of Kosovo and Metohija
The Provisional Assembly of Kosovo and Metohija has been constituted on Thursday in Zvečan, a Serb municipality in northern Kosovo.Source: Beta, Tanjug
Leposavić Mayor Slavko Stevanović has been elected the assembly's president.
"Only a democratic and economically strong Serbia can help the Serb people in Kosovo and Metohija, but we cannot accept that the price of Serbia joining the EU is the loss of territory and forced integration into the institutions of an unrecognized state," said Stevanović.
The assembly was formed by leaders and councilors of the four municipalities in northern Kosovo.
The inaugural session was not attended by representatives of the Serbian government.
The session was attended by 97 deputies who took the oath and adopted the Declaration of the Provisional Assembly of Kosovo and Metohija, which states that the body represents the citizens of the province who respect the Constitution and the laws of Serbia.
According to Stevanović, the fact that the assembly has not been held before June 28 shows that none of the Serbs in Kosovo wish to interfere with their country's efforts to integrate into the EU.
He said that the setting up of the provisional body was an attempt to bring the province back from the wasteland of lawlessness, and to the ground of the valid Constitution and laws.
Stevanović added that in this way, a message was being sent to the international community that Serbia was "again lifting its head," and that in this regard, international law, the UN Charter and Resolution 1244 on Kosovo as part of the Serbia must be respected, when it comes to Serbia, as well as other countries.
Assistant to the Zvečan Mayor Ljubomir Radović said at the meeting that the Serbs would not implement the Brussels agreement and will not take part in elections organized according to the decisions and laws from Priština.
"We will not accept a constitution and a legal system of some other, unrecognized, and unlawfully created state," he said, adding that Serbs know their way, "and will not go to Priština."
"Our capital is Belgrade, our republic is Serbia, we do not want another country, another citizenship or legal system," said Radović.
The session was convened on the basis of the Declaration adopted at the Assembly of the Serb People 22 April in Kosovska Mitrovica, and the conclusions adopted by a session held by the four municipalities on June 6.
The assembly was formed after consultations with representatives of a number of municipalities in Kosovo and Metohija held in May and June.
"Assembly weakens Serbia's standing"
The formation of the Assembly of Kosovo and Metohija "will weaken the position of Serbs and Serbia," Chair of the Serbian Parliament Committee for Kosovo and Metohija Milovan Drecun stated earlier on Thursday.
Drecun told reporters in the parliament that the Brussels agreement between Belgrade and Priština "is an integral part of Serbia's state policy on the Kosovo issue, and its backbone is the constitution of the community of Serb municipalities."
He believes that in this context, "there is no room for any other mode of organization."
"Everything that would have been done contrary to the state policy would introduce parallelism in the search for a solution to the Kosovo issue and it would not reinforce Serbia's position," Drecun said.