Friday, February 15, 2008

Kosovo bishop urges national salvation gov't

13 February 2008 | 12:38 | Source: Beta

BELGRADE -- Raško-Prizrenska Eparchy Bishop Artemije has called on Serbia to act without hesitation.

Serbia needs to form a government of national salvation and clearly refuse to sign any kind of pact with the EU or countries that are ready to threaten its integrity, said Artemije.

“We must stop this cross-party feuding and form a government of national salvation that could unite the forces ready to defend the country and people using all legitimate means,” said the bishop on his return from the U.S., conveying the conclusions drawn from talks in Washington.

He said that the West believed that “a crippled Serbia would soon face up to a new reality,” and on the basis of the fact “that certain Serbian politicians are claiming that they will never accept the loss of Kosovo at the same time as they’re saying that Serbia must bolster relations with aggressor countries that wish to steal a part of her territory.”

Recounting the conclusions of the meeting in the U.S., Artemije said that Serbia had to send the army and police to Kosovo to prevent attacks on her institutions, her holy sites and people, as they are obliged to do under the Constitution, the UN Charter and Resolution 1244.

To remove the danger of Kosovo independence, Serbia had to deploy observers from all friendly and well-intentioned countries around the province, said the bishop.

“Serbia has to announce that it will purchase state-of-the-art weapons systems from Russia and other allies,” he said, adding that she could also “send an invitation to Russia to send volunteers who would help the Serbian people in the just battle.”

At the same time, Artemije said that he had no doubt that even if the worst came to the worst—“if the KLA hooligans and terrorists” declare independence and are recognized by hostile governments—Serbia would never lose Kosovo.

“We’ve survived many occupations and won. An unjustly imposed solution can never last, only compromise and respect for law and morals can create lasting peace and security… We will win because Kosovo is Serbia,” stressed the bishop.

Father Simon of the Banjska Monastery, who accompanied Artemije to the U.S., said at the same conference that he was certain that Serbia had the capacity and ability to oppose the Kosovo independence project, but that it depended on the readiness of the country’s politicians.

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