Srpska Lista’s announcement that its members will leave Pristina’s institutions in northern Kosovo if talks on the formation of the ASM do not begin in November, and this body is not formed by the end of the year, is not an ultimatum, but a message of the Serb people who “were held at gunpoint by ROSU for three weeks,” claims the head of the Kosovo Office, Petar Petkovic.
On the eve of the first round of local elections in Kosovo, following several weeks of crisis in the north concerning the issue of license plates and Kosovo Police actions, Srpska Lista chief, Goran Rakic, called on Pristina to form the ASM.
Rakic also stressed that SL would abandon Kosovo institutions at all levels in the north if the ASM is not formed by the end of the year.
„If talks between Belgrade and Pristina on the formation of the ASM do not start in November, I inform all relevant factors, Pristina, Belgrade, and Brussels, especially our citizens, that we will leave all Pristina institutions at all levels in the north, and resign as mayors, heads of local self-government in the north. No people from the north will remain part of Pristina institutions,“ Rakic said at the time, adding:
„The end of the year is the deadline when the Association of Serb-majority Municipalities must be formed, if it is not formed by that time, as I mentioned, we will leave all institutions at all levels.“
This is not the first time that Srpska Lista threatened to withdraw from Kosovo institutions. Despite numerous announcements, the largest Kosovo Serb party had never actually done so. Read more:
Rakic, however, also underlined that the ASM must be formed with clear power and competencies.
More than a month has passed since Goran Rakic made this announcement. So far, the representatives of Belgrade and Pristina have not conducted any talks on the ASM. Moreover, the representatives of Pristina have repeatedly underlined that they will not form this body. They furthermore claimed that „those Serbs who believed in the promise of SL on the formation of the ASM and voted for this party because of that were manipulated.“
In fact, a new round of dialogue was held last week, however, because of the disagreement between the parties on whether the formation of this body should be discussed or not, no trilateral meeting took place. Instead, representatives of Belgrade and Pristina met separately with EU officials.
As the end of November is drawing near, when asked about SL’s ultimatum, the head of the Kosovo Office, Petar Petkovic, said that Belgrade and SL do not speak the language of ultimatum.
„Neither we nor SL speak the language of the ultimatum, it was the message of the Serb people who were held at gunpoint by ROSU for three weeks, the people who were shot at by Kurti’s special forces and who stood in the rain and frost for two weeks defending their basic right to freedom of movement even after the first drop of Serb blood fell in the north of Kosovo when Srecko Sofronijevic was seriously injured. The Serbian people are fed up with the fact that they have been waiting for almost nine years to exercise their collective rights contained in the ASM, while at the same time Pristina tolerates all violations of agreements and contracts,“ Petkovic said.
Petkovic also claimed that SL heard the message of its people, who went to the polls in large numbers in the last local elections to vote – „giving undivided and absolute support to their representatives.“
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