We will build the Decani-Plav road without the impact of racket in television studios, in cooperation with the municipality of Decani, and by respecting the laws of Kosovo, the Kosovo Prime Minister, Avdullah Hoti said late on Monday night.
For days now, the dispute on the Decani-Plav road – which is being built for more than half a decade with the support of the municipality of Decani and central Kosovo institutions – has been in the spotlight in the media and the Kosovo public.
Out of about 30 kilometers of the highway, about 5 kilometers pass through the Special Protective Zone around the Visoki Decani Monastery, which the monks of this monastery strongly object to.
After the monastery sent a new appeal to international representatives and official Belgrade last week, the works were suspended once again, this time at the official request of Hoti.
The Prime Minister of Kosovo said that Kosovo’s laws must be respected, adding that Kosovo is a mosaic of different religions and cultures, and the protection of religious sites is a commitment rooted in Kosovo’s tradition. He also revealed that he understands the importance of building a road between Decani and Plav.
The monastery does not oppose the construction of the road, but its route through the SPZ and the laws must be respected, the abbot of Visoki Decani, Sava Janjic reiterated on several occasions. He recalled the decision on the construction of the bypass, which was made back in 2014, at the time when Hashim Thaci was the Prime Minister.
„This solution is the only solution within the existing law on Special Protective Zones,“ Janjic said, publishing an image of the outline of the bypass around the monastery.
On the other hand, although claiming that he wants to reach an agreement with the monastery, the Decani mayor, Bashkim Ramosaj told N1 last night that the „alternative path“ envisaged by the 2014 agreement, passes through „problematic geographical terrain that is not adapted for people or goods, but extreme sports.“
During that time, the Kosovo media have been extensively reporting in favor of the construction of the road, while underlining the negative impact on Kosovo incurred by the opposition to its construction by the Serbian side and the monastery.
Hoti is implementing Vucic’s demands, and the Decani-Plav road is of national importance, says Self-Determination movement. Ramosaj accused Hoti of ordering the suspension of works due to international pressure. Historians on Kosovo television, newspapers, and portals have repeated claims that Visoki Decani is „the heritage of Kosovo, not Serbia,“ and that Serbia’s demands will „increase“ if concessions are given to the monastery in this case.
The mayor of Decani recently referred to Sava Janjic „crazy,“ although he did not specifically say his name, while the abbot and the Serbian clergy have been repeatedly accused of „racism,“ „fascism,“ and „chauvinism.“
„Without the influence of a racket in television studios, we will build the Decani-Plav road, in close cooperation with Decani and all other competent institutions, respecting the laws of the state of Kosovo. The racket is not the solution to the concerns of our citizens, but work, dedication, and respect are,“ Hoti said last night.
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