Vucic’s Instagram post criticized by Pristina officials: „You seem to miss the NATO bombings“

Vučić instagram
FOTO: Instagram/AVučić/printscreen

The image published by the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic on the anniversary of the March 17th, 2004 events is still one of the most current topics in Pristina. The image of a map of the territory of Kosovo, painted in the colors of the Serbian flag, provoked an avalanche of criticisms from Pristina officials. Vucic was even accused of „missing the NATO bombings“! The EU also reacted, urging the two sides to refrain from doing anything that might harm the normalization of relations. On the other hand, the Kosovo Office claimed that criticism coming from Pristina is a „hysterical attack“ on the President of Serbia and his „policy of peace“.

During the commemoration of the anniversary of March 17th, 2004 events – the biggest ethnic violence in Kosovo following the arrival of international military and civilian forces, the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic announced from Belgrade: „Kosovo is not our burden, but our cross. And a view of the resurrection is better from the top of the cross than it is under it.“

The same message was then published on the official Instagram account of the President of Serbia, along with an image of the map of the territory of Kosovo painted in the colors of the Serbian flag and with the official coat of arms.

Along with the image, the following inscription was shared:

„Serbia is not weak today, it does not threaten, but it also does not forget, and it will not allow March 17th to happen again. We remembered and learned every lesson in which we were losers, every single one in which we were silent about our own victims, in which we were ready to forget. We know what happened and we call it by its true name – pogrom. “

 

The Instagram post received numerous comments from Albanian Instagram users („Kosovo is Albania“ etc.), while also triggering a harsh reaction from Pristina political officials.

Former Kosovo ambassador to the United States, Vlora Citaku described Vucic’s post as „verbal aggression” which should be “condemned as such.“

Former chief Pristina negotiator in the Brussels dialogue in, Edita Tahiri told Vucic „you seem to miss the NATO bombing“.

“Serbia’s Vucic has come up with new provocations against Kosovo, showing his hegemonic mindset. Once in the Brussels Dialogue when he provoked in a similar way, I responded to him by saying ‘you seem to miss the NATO bombings’. I’m telling him again!” Tahiri tweeted.

According to PDK leader Enver Hoxhaj, the post is an expression of „hatred toward neighbors.“ Self-Determination MP Armend Muja compared Vucic to Milosevic, alleging that the Serbian President wants to return Kosovo and Montenegro „into the orbit of Serb domination-“ Criticism also arrived from politicians in Albania.

Pristina media, in addition to reporting the reactions of politicians, also asked the European Union to comment on Vucic’s Instagram post.

The Pristina media also transmitted the statements of the President of Serbia from the commemoration of the anniversary of March 17th, on how „he will not allow another March 17th to happen again.“ Many Pristina media headlines alleged that it was a „threat“ by the Serbian President.

Pristina-based portal Gazeta Express soon received a reply from the EU, which underlined that it has always called on the parties to take measures and make statements that contribute to cooperation and reconciliation -not vice versa.

„We have repeated many times over the years that Kosovo and Serbia should refrain from actions and statements that are counterproductive to the process of normalization of relations.“

A reaction arrived from Belgrade today.

The head of the Kosovo Office, Petar Petkovic assessed the statements of Pristina officials as an „hysterical attack on the President of Serbia“ – who are pursuing a „policy of peace and compromise“.

„President Vucic sent a clear and the only correct message that Kosovo is an inalienable and integral part of our state, and he called March 17th by its true name – a pogrom. That is the reality that politicians in Pristina know very well and the truth that we will not keep silent,“ Petkovic said.

He revealed that he expected „extremist rhetoric from Pristina politicians,“ adding that they will never be able to get „a groveling recognition of Kosovo“ from the President of Serbia.

„The sooner they realize that they cannot talk to Vucic in such a way, nor address him that way, the easier it will be for them. Serbia does not threaten anyone and pursues a policy of dialogue and compromise, but it will always clearly and loudly protect its national interests and without hesitation recall all crimes committed against our people,“ Petkovic said.



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