"That would be capitulation; and our answer would be no"
Kosovo and Metohija Office Director Marko Djuric says the US intends to launch an exit strategy for the UN mandate in Kosovo and Metohija.Source: Beta
By this, Djuric had in mind the initiative for the UN mission to Kosovo, UNMIK, to exit this territory.
Djuric presented to the journalists gathered at the Serbian government HQ on Wednesday a document he claims is a letter by the now former US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, written on behalf of the US government, concerning the alleged launch of the UN mission's exit strategy from Kosovo.
The Serbian official recalled that the mandate of the UN mission in Kosovo and Metohija was the return of the Serbs and non-Albanians driven out of their homes, back to Kosovo and Metohija.
"The withdrawal of the UMNIK would be a recognition of failure, and capitulation in the fight for some of the key goals for which the UN was established, for peaceful resolution of disputes, the return of displaced persons and the support of peace and stability," Djuric explained.
As he said, the adoption and launch of an initiative on UNMIK's exit from Kosovo "is a true slap in the face to peace efforts and a return to the policy of pressure, unilateral moves and one of arbitrariness and diktats."
"Such policy Serbia will not and cannot accept. Serbia will oppose this policy. We will conduct consultations and talk with our friends and partners, permanent members of the UN Security Council," Djuric said, adding that Serbia will use all legal and political arguments.
He recalled that the regular reporting on UMNIK's activities to the Security Council had been interrupted for several months, and described these sessions as "one of the rare occasions when the public had the opportunity to learn about the real situation in Kosovo and Metohija."
"What can be a more firm proof that nothing in Kosovo and Metohija has been resolved, than that so-called Kosovo, for which the United States is now urging UMNIK to withdraw from the territory of our southern province, is not a member of the UN. Well, if something had been resolved and if Ms. Haley were right, Kosovo should be a member of the UN," explained Djuric, adding that Kosovo is not, and never will be, "because that depends on Belgrade's decision."
Djuric also said that Serbia's policy towards Kosovo is not and will not (change), because, he said, "they are encouraging the policy of rifles and a return the policy of diktats, which we know has collapsed and has not solved a thing in Kosovo and Metohija."
"We will oppose this initiative at the UN as well, we will speak with permanent UN Security Council members, Russia and China, and other UN members, we will do our best - with the General Secretariat, with (UN chief) Guterres, we will oppose this initiative at all levels," Djuric said during his unscheduled news conference in Belgrade today.