Patriarch: Serbs must return to Kosovo
BELGRADE -- The most important request of Serbia in all talks about
Kosovo needs to be the return of Serbs, Serbian Patriarch Irinej has said.
"One of the first steps and items in the talks, today and tomorrow, a
condition and request we need to set is the return of a large number of
Serbs to Kosovo and Metohija," he said at a ceremony marking the ninth
anniversary of pogrom against Serbs in Kosovo.
Irinej noted that 240,000 Serbs had been expelled from Kosovo and that
it was the country's obligation to help those who still lived in Kosovo
and the displaced to return to their homes.
He added that one should not despair over Kosovo's faith and that Kosovo
"is, will be and will remain Serbian as long as it is in our thoughts".
"If some audacious power makes us lose Kosovo and Metohija, we will
always have an example of the Jewish people who waited for Jerusalem for
2,000 years and finally got it," the patriarch noted.
He underscored that nobody was held accountable for the violence against
Serbs that lasted from March 17 until March 19, 2004.
"I am sure that if we had something like that, the whole world would
have known it. Books and books would have been written and stories about
the evil would have been told," the patriarch said.
He added that Orthodox churches and monasteries had no value if there
were no Serbian people in Kosovo.
"If we survived five centuries under Turks, we will survive this as
well. We must not despair," the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church
The manifestation dubbed "Crime without Punishment", which was held at
the National Theatre in Belgrade was organized by the Serbian
government's Office for Kosovo. The event was attended by Prime Minister
Today marks nine years since the March pogrom
In just three days, Kosovo Albanians expelled more than 4,000 Serbs and
destroyed numerous churches and monasteries.
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