"There will be no war in southern Serbia"
The southern part of central Serbia is not threatened by any armed conflict, says the president of the Coordinating Body, Zoran Stankovic.Source: Vecernje novosti, Tanjug
Stankovic categorically claims that a war in this area will not happen, in spite of "constant announcements" to the contrary.
The president of the coordinating body for Presevo, Bujanovac and Medveđa commented for the daily Vecernje Novosti in this way on the situation and raising tensions among the public, and after the news that ethniccAlbanians from those three municipalities had asked the Assembly in Pristina to pass a resolution supporting their request for joining Kosovo.
In an interview with the Belgrade-based newspaper, Stankovic pointed out that our security structures are performing their duties well, and recalled that the merger (with Kosovo) talk is exacerbated by "some who are referring to an illegal referendum from 1992" - but also recalled that these same forced have lost elections in all three municipalities.
"The people showed them what they thinks, and this uncertainty, which is also being stressed in the media, is damaging, because it prevents the arrival of investors, who seek political and security stability," says Stankovic.
He also noted that the term "Presevo valley", which is emphasized in Hashim Thaci's merger with Kosovo story - and also by some representatives of the Albanians from the South- is in fact political, rather that a geographical, administrative or any other term, that exists in any way.
"The municipalities of Bujanovac and Presevo belong to the Pcinje District while Medvedja belongs to the Jablanica District," he explained, adding that Albanians first used the term "eastern Kosovo" for that part of Serbia after their armed rebellion in 2000 and 2001, and then changed it to the "Presevo valley."
He said that in the meantime, this term has even come to be used by some people holding state office, and warns that we I need to take a good look at the terms that we use.
Stankovic also stressed that in the Medvedja, Serbs are the dominant population, while in Presevo the reverse true, and that there is no precise data, since in 2011 Albanians refused to participate in the census.
"Along with experts from America, Britain and Macedonia we've have done an assessment of the population, but not the ethnic structure, because it is not the key for us. The point of our work is to enable all citizens in these municipalities to live better and realize their rights."
Asked if it is true that "Albanians and Serbs cannot live with each other, but that they must live side by side," Stankovic stated that there were no inter-ethnic incidents since he has headed the Coordination Body, while coalition of Serb and Albanian parties are in power in all three municipalities..
"My experience is that members of these two nations can cooperate and know how to agree very well when it comes to common interests. The problem is that there are a number of people who can only sustain themselves politically if they create an image that the situation is completely different and that there is intolerance," said Stankovic.
And when asked if it is realistic that the issue of the three municipalities will be discussed in Brussels, he argues that this will not be the topic of the talks, but that Serbia will do everything to fulfill the rights and obligations stemming from the Constitution and the law in full.