The discussion on the formation of the ASM was held in Pristina today, organized by the US ambassador in Pristina, Jeffrey Hovenier. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Kosovo government, political parties, diplomatic corps, and CSOs. Aleksandar Arsenijevic in front of GI Srpski Opstanak also joined the round table, which lasted more than two hours.
Arsenijevic told KoSSev that the talks were productive, assessing that such discussions are necessary for Kosovo society and that they must be held more frequently.
Mr. Hovenier brought together the incompatible all under one roof
He revealed that constructive proposals were presented on how to deal with issues such as textbooks, medicines, social benefits, wages from the system of the Republic of Serbia, and others.
According to Arsenijevic, during the discussion, the representatives of the Serb community communicated an almost united stance that the Association of Serb-majority Municipalities must be formed as soon as possible.
The civil initiative led by Arsenijevic expressed a firm position „that there is no progress without the ASM“ – he added.
„There was talk about the fact that the Serb people in Kosovo do not have time to delay the formation of the ASm, and that it must be done as soon as possible, because like the bitter pill we swallowed in 2013, after the barricades in 2011 and 2012, where one regime fell, the one headed by Boris Tadic, we got the Brussels Agreement and the bitter pill we swallowed with the ASM, which still hasn’t been formed,“ he said.
Speaking of the „other side“, i.e. the representatives of the Albanian political parties and the Kosovo government, some representatives of the opposition „showed understanding“, while some representatives of the Kosovo government „missed the point“, testifies Arsenijevic.
„Saying that the Serbs are little Russians and that Russia would have a direct influence on Kosovo through the ASM,“ concluded Arsenijevic.
Today’s round table was also attended by the representatives of Srpska Lista, whose officials left all positions at the central and the local level in the north in early November.
The CSO representatives we spoke to said that they could not reveal the participants of the discussion individually, considering the Chatham House Rule, under which the meeting was held.
The Government of Kosovo was represented by the Minister of Health Arben Vitija, the Minister of Education Arberija Nagavci, and the Minister for Communities and Returns, Nenad Rasic. The media report that there were also other representatives present at the discussion.
After the meeting, Ambassador Jeffrey Hovenier addressed the media, emphasizing that today’s discussion reflects the importance the US attributes to the formation of the ASM.
“While several U.S. officials have already made this point, I also want to be clear about the position of the United States. We do not support any arrangement that violates Kosovo’s Constitution, that is inconsistent with the 2015 Constitutional Court decision, or that would threaten Kosovo’s sovereignty, independence, multiethnic character, or democratic institutions.”
He said that the US „strictly oppose the creation of any entity resembling Republika Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” noting that they still expect Kosovo to fulfill its obligations.
“We ask the Government of Kosovo to provide its own vision for an ASM that it believes protects Kosovo’s future as a sovereign, independent, multiethnic, democratic state and that provides for minority rights consistent with the Brussels Agreements. This is critical, important, and urgent,” he emphasized.
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