28 October 2006

Raskovic-Ivic: Albanians want to intimidate Serbs and the international community

Radio Television Serbia, Belgrade, Tuesday, September 26, 2006 20:46

Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija president Sanda Raskovic-Ivic most strongly condemned the most recent attacks on Kosovo Serbs, assessing that Albanians wish to intimidate both Serbs and the international community with violence. The most recent attacks by Albanians are a message to Serbs that they are not welcome and that this is what awaits those who return to the province, while the message to the international community is that the Albanians have lost their patience and that it the outcome of negotiations on the status of Kosovo is negative for them they will react aggressively, Raskovic-Ivic told Mitrovica's "Kontakt Plus" radio.

She assessed that the international community will not yield before the threat of violence, adding that Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija have lived through worse periods than today. "The people I spoke with during my visit to Kosovo last week are determined to stay and survive in province because they, too, see that the goal of the Albanian extremists is an ethnically cleansed Kosovo, which would make Serbia's battle for its own territory pointless," said Raskovic-Ivic.

"I'm not trying to suggest that Kosovo Albanians are not our citizens by saying this but they are hiding behind the slogan, Whoever owns the sheep also owns the meadow they graze on, which certainly is not the case," she emphasized.

She said she was surprised by UNMIK chief Joachim Ruecker's statement that Serbs themselves have chosen ghetto-ization and that the claims of those who believe Serbs are constant targets of attacks are exaggerated. "Mr. Ruecker has had the opportunity to see how many attacks have occurred in Kosovo since he has become the UNMIK chief and what kind of attacks they were," said Raskovic-Ivic. She added that recently there have been several "terrorist attacks on lives and physical persons".

"I think that UNMIK and its officials urgently need to stop turning their heads the other way to the reality in Kosovo and Metohija so they can see who is really the victim and who is the aggressor, who is the one that does not want coexistence and who is trying to ethnically cleanse the province," concluded Raskovic-Ivic.