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Kosovo: "These are ideas from the Milošević era"

Helmar Dumbs (The Press)

Kosovo Foreign Minister Hoxhaj accuses Belgrade of being responsible for the tense situation. Of ethnically homogeneous states he wants to hear.

The press: Serbian dominated municipalities in northern Kosovo, recently threatened to declare independence. How seriously do you take it? And how would react Prishtina?
 
Enver Hoxhaj: I think such statements absurd, this is not to be taken seriously. Certain illegal paramilitary and security structures to try to blackmail the international community. In the "North" we speak for the rest by three municipalities, comparable to Austrian villages. These illegal state security structures of Serbia in the last twelve years, the Serbian people taken hostage and not allowed to engage these people in the democratic institutions of Kosovo. It is time to abolish these structures Belgrade. Serbia turned at last was the position: We have indeed in the north influence but not control.

I do not agree. Belgrade has been twelve years in charge of the situation in the north. Also to the existing barricades that were erected with recommendation and support of the Serbian government. Is there any difference between the 2008 and ceded the present Nationalist government, pro-Western?

When it comes to Kosovo, we see no difference who is currently in power in Belgrade. As represented those in Europe sometimes be perceived as pro-Europeans and Democrats, a "traditional" policy, which reminds us of those of 20 years ago. The deployment of officers at two border posts with Serbia has great resistance from the Serbs in . The northern Kosovo led KFOR has on further action - say, in the courts - is strongly discouraged, due to imminent unrest Plan still further such steps.?

Yes there is no conflict between the Government of Kosovo and the population in the north. There is a very small group of people who operate there in the name of Belgrade, Belgrade, which are supported by solid financially. All funds that the EU pays under IPA to Serbia in the north-flowing virtually Kosovo in order to maintain the status quo. We are very interested in that also in this part of Kosovo, Ahtisaari's plan is implemented. It provides the community management skills, such as those found in non-Western European countries. Can Pristhina as ever attain full sovereignty over the north, with no serious armed conflicts?

I do not think it happen, but it depends only on Belgrade. If Serbia wants to instigate a conflict there, they can do it naturally. As for our side: We want to apply to any case of violence. We do not want too, that the status quo continues. We accept no ethnic division of Kosovo: The North is a part of the country that are Kosovar Serbs, they can be integrated into our institutions, there is a state border, and that will remain forever. Serbia's Interior Minister openly advocates the division of Kosovo and thinks that when all Serbian territories were united in one state and all Albanians in another state, would solve all the problems.

These are ideas from the time of Milosevic. They have taken care in the Balkans wars, ethnic cleansing, and much suffering. We are against concepts of homogeneous states in the Balkans, which would open a Pandora's box. It could then also lead to violence and ethnic conflicts in other countries, it is Macedonia, Serbia, or Bosnia. It's time for Serbia to define national interests in a different way. Do not be so fixated on territories, the national interest should lie today in the economic development and European integration. If you do not say how it counts anyway territories: Kosovo Could not then have stayed with Serbia?

Kosovo was never part of Serbia, never in history.Kosovo was part of Yugoslavia, like Slovenia, Croatia, ... ... only that Kosovo was not a republic but an autonomous province.

We were one entity within the Yugoslav Federation.Kosovo has always had its own history, its own institutions. When Yugoslavia has ceased to exist, the Slovenes, Croats, and Kosovars have also taken up the initiative to independence. For us then, ten years of oppression, three years of war and ethnic cleansing, the attempt of genocide in Kosovo, and then a military intervention by NATO and ten years of UN administration, finally, two years of negotiations in Vienna. All this has led us to an independent state.
No one can imagine today - and it could not even 20 years ago - that Kosovo has anything to do with Serbia. The "Kosovo Republic" was recognized by 85 states. It is time for Serbia to seek his fortune within their own borders and not outside. run as the talks with Belgrade, which this week could finally be continued?

Because it is all about technical things about the movement of people, goods and capital to promote and support the European perspective of both countries. At the end of July it had some agreements, but we are concerned that Serbia clearly has no intention to implement them. It is time that the EU puts pressure on Serbia. The agreements are important for the population in both countries. And the dialogue is important to slowly build up a trust between two peoples. In the EU there is currently a considerable enlargement fatigue. If you still can make Foreign Minister Spindelegger any hope?

We have received an assurance that it supported the Kosovo visa dialogue and respect of contractual relations between the Republic of Kosovo and the European institutions in Brussels. Compared to other countries in the region, we are quite far behind in the integration process. But these two things - a visa roadmap and contractual relationships - are very important for us. Do you feel adequately supported by Vienna?

We have received over the last ten years a massive diplomatic and political support, and I think that will continue to be so. Austria is for us a very important political and economic partner, but we would like even more Austrian investment.

Interview du ministre Enver Hoxhaj pour "Epoken e Re"La Serbie plus agressive envers le Kosovo