Peace Park "won't be removed without agreement"
Peace Park on the main bridge in Kosovska Mitrovica will not be removed until a solution acceptable both for Serb and Albanian communities has been found.Source: Tanjug
This was announced on Tuesday by the mayors of the northern and southern parts of the town, Goran Rakic and Agim Bahtiri.
They spoke for Radio Free Europe to say they maintained regular contacts "to improve the security situation and create a positive atmosphere for the solving of problems related the main bridge over the Ibar River."
Rakic "emphasized that the question of the main bridge is too politicized and requires a very cautious approach of all parties involved in finding a solution."
He also "pointed out that a resolution of this issue should lead to stabilization of the situation and not to constant new tensions," and, "expressed his belief that despite the contradictory attitudes about Peace Park, an agreement between the Serb and Albanian sides was necessary."
"First we have to work on the return of trust in this area, trust among citizens that has been lost a long time ago in Kosovska Mitrovica. Only when it returns, will it be much easier to solve the overall situation on the ground," said Rakic.
Bahtiri said he expected the issue of the park "to be solved as soon as possible for the sake of preserving peace and stability in the city."
"I hope that the main bridge will soon be passable for traffic and that this issue will be resolved in the best possible manner in the interests of all citizens of Mitrovica. I would not say now what exact date this is about, but I tell you it will be soon," he said.
Bahtiri added that he was "in constant contact with Rakic," and that "no bridge should be a symbol of any kind of blockade, traffic restrictions or separation because bridges must unite and connect cities."
Rakic then reminded that Peace Park, set up in June 2014, replaced a barricade on the bridge which Serbs from the northern part of the city had set up fearing for their safety.
"The key to solving all issues related to the security situation in southern and northern Mitrovica is a common agreement. We need time, because the most important goal for which we advocate is preserving peace," said Rakic.