Albanians kick PM's car during Kosovo visit
Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic has said that Albanians tried to provoke him by kicking his car when he arrived in Kosovo on Wednesday.Source: Beta, Tanjug
He then told Serb ministers taking part in the Kosovo government that they must work in the interests of the people or to leave their office.
"If they assumed posts to gain wealth, they should leave them," Vucic said in Gracanica, after meeting with Serbian Orthodox Bishop Teodosije.
The prime minister said he was very pleased with the visit to Kosovo and was greeted well everywhere, while his message to those Albanians who were "trying to provoke" was one of "peace, not conflict."
"Some addressed me with abusive words, kicked the car thinking that a leg is stronger than a car, and I can only hope that their legs don't hurt," Vucic said, adding he was "proud of the behavior of the Serb people and of their civilized behavior."
He then said he would "provide books to those who had tried to provoke him, to learn about good manners."
While Vucic was giving statements in the yard of the monastery in Gracanica, Albanian media reporters asked when Serbia would "apologize for the events in Kosovo" and when Belgrade would "recognize Kosovo's independence."
Addressing the latter, Vucic replied that he refused to answer "silly questions," and that it was the Albanian reporters' "big dream."
Vucic said that the Serbian government will work to make sure as many Serbs as possible return to their homes in Kosovo, and to develop private businesses in Serb areas.
"We can learn much about that from our Albanian neighbors," said Vucic.
Bishop Teodosije said that the visit was very important for the preservation of the Serb population in Kosovo and Metohija.
"It is more important than anything to us that people do not leave their homes, and to preserve our holy land," said the bishop.
Vucic and six members of his cabinet earlier in the day visited Pasjane and Strpce and called on Serbs in Kosovo not to sell their property, assuring them the state would "be with them and help them."
Aleksandar Vucic unveiled a monument to Serbian King Milutin (1253-1321), one of the most powerful Serbian rulers in the Middle Ages, in the center of Gracanica, in Kosovo and Metohija, on Wednesday.
Addressing the present, Vucic pointed to King Milutin's contribution to spreading, re-ordering and strengthening the Serbian state, and that he built a large number of churches and monasteries, including the Monastery of Gracanica.
“Seven centuries later, we should see what we have done and what we should do so as to secure the future of our children,” the prime minister said.
"The government is doing everything in its power for Serbia's position to be the best and strongest possible, and to secure a better future for our people through a better and more prudent policy,” Vucic said.
In Gracanica, like at other places he toured on Wednesday, Vucic underscored that the Serbian government will not abandon or forget a single village in KiM, and signaled that the state will channel part of the proceeds from privatizations into infrastructure and other projects in the province.
Vucic underlined that he warned the Serb ministers in the Pristina government earlier in the day against acting in their own interest, adding that they should work to the benefit of the Serb people or, otherwise, they should leave the government immediately.
“While touring Kosovo today, I have seen Albanians who have welcomed me with their flags, some even swore at me and threatened, but our message is that we want to resolve all problems by peaceful means,” he said.
Director of the Office for Cooperation with KiM Marko Djuric said that there is no alternative to the talks that the government is conducting with Pristina, as they should ensure peace, security and economic development for all.
Kosovo's Deputy Prime Minister Branimir Stojanovic underlined that in the last decades the Serbs were divided in various ways, but that for a year now, with the backing from the current government, their unity is being built.
“Times of hatred, violence and conflict are behind us,” said Vladeta Kostic, a candidate for Gracanica Mayor in the forthcoming elections, and voiced confidence that, thanks to the achieved unity, a community of Serb municipalities will be established to look after the interests of the Serb people.