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Serbian Church Accuses Govt of 'Suicide' on Kosovo

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/serbian-orthodox-church-criticizes-state-on-kosovo-policy Serbian Church Accuses Govt of Suicide on Kosovo Scenting a
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 6, 2012
      http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/serbian-orthodox-church-criticizes-state-on-kosovo-policy

      Serbian Church Accuses Govt of 'Suicide' on Kosovo

      Scenting a softening of Serbia's claim to the former province, the
      Serbian Orthodox Christian Church has accused the government of being an
      accomplice to international plans to 'cut its jugular and take out
      Serbia's heart'.
      Bojana Barlovac

      In a strongly worded letter, the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox
      Church has demanded that Serbia's authorities stop taking part it what
      it called "the country's suicide" over Kosovo.

      "It is perfectly clear to every reasonable man that the Western powers,
      after the NATO bombing war [in 1999] are step-by-step creating the state
      of Kosovo for Kosovo Albanians while getting Serbia to act as their
      accomplice... cutting her jugular and taking its heart from its bosom,
      her holy land of Kosovo and Metohija," the letter said.

      The letter was sent on Thursday to the Serbian President, Tomislav
      Nikolic, the Prime Minister, Ivica Dacic, the First Deputy Prime
      Minister, Aleksandar Vucic, and to opposition leaders.

      It remains unclear who sent the letter on behalf of the Church as, after
      it was released on Thursday, some bishops denied that anyone in the
      Church had sent it while other bishops confirmed it.

      The letter further criticizes the government's Kosovo policy and the
      deals that Belgrade has reached with Pristina during EU-mediated talks,
      which started in March 2011, three years after Kosovo declared independence.

      “We expect the government and parliament to reconsider all agreements of
      the previous government about [border] ‘crossings’ that have not been
      approved by parliament instead of accepting the [EU-brokered]
      'integrated border management’ agreement,” the document says.

      The letter comes a day after Dacic and his Kosovo counterpart, Hashim
      Thaci, agreed that implementation of an earlier border agreement will
      start on December 10 on two border crossings.

      Under the terms of the IBM agreement, Kosovo and Serbian customs and
      police officers will stand under one roof once the agreement is put into
      operation.

      The Church said the government should also seek guarantees from the
      international community for the return of thousands of expelled citizens
      from Kosovo, and restoration to them of their homes and churches, and
      should pass a law on restitution of the state and church property in
      Kosovo before any other talks take place.

      According to the document, the state should also demand removal of the
      US military base, Camp Bondsteel, from Kosovo, and stop "the
      cowboy-style illegal occupation of Serbian lands and mineral resources
      in Kosovo".

      The document also calls for investigations before international courts
      into allegations that top Kosovo officials were part of an organised
      crime network that trafficked in organs.

      President Nikolic met with Patriarch Irinej, head of the Church, three
      times since he became president in May. The purpose of the visits was to
      seek the Church's support for government policy on Kosovo.
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