28.06.2014

Serbia should pursue prudent policy

GRACANICA - Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic said at the Monastery of Gracanica on Saturday that Serbia should pursue a prudent policy in Kosovo-Metohija, and underscored that anyone who deems that the future could be built by making war is seriously mistaken.

On the occasion of Vidovdan or St Vitus' Day, Nikolic told reporters that Serbia will never recognize Kosovo's independence, just as Kosovo authorities will continue to behave as if they were in a sovereign, independent state, so it is in the interest of both Serbs and ethnic Albanians to reach an agreement.

He stressed that Serbia should pursue a prudent policy, talk with everyone so as to ensure that Serbs and ethnic Albanians in Kosovo reach an accord, and not make war.

“I am convinced that, as long as I am president, Serbia will not wage a war,” Nikolic said.
The Serbian president said that his intent was made clear in the resolution that was passed by the Serbian parliament, based on which many fruitful talks were realized with Pristina's institutions and the European Union.

Asked what if the EU asked of Serbia to recognize Kosovo's independence for the sake of EU membership, Nikolic replied that five EU member states have not recognized Kosovo, and have not been excluded from the bloc, so he does not see a reason why Serbia should do that.

Asked whether there are road blocks in Kosovska Mitrovica, Nikolic said that Serbs set up a peace park there (on the bridge connecting the northern and southern parts of the city), and that now it is up to ethnic Albanians to accept the offered friendship.

Nikolic met Kosovo Serb officials in Gracanica, and unveiled a plaque on the monument to Milos Obilic, a medieval Serbian knight in the service of Prince Lazar.

The monument to Milos Obilic was previously located in Obilic where it was damaged in 1999, and was temporarily moved to the churchyard of the Monastery of Gracanica.
St Vitus' Day is a national holiday celebrated to commemorate the Battle of Kosovo.

The Battle of Kosovo, between Serbian and Turkish armed forces, took place on June 28, 1389 (June 15 according to the Julian calendar) on Kosovo Field.

The event, which was a turning point in national history after a period of progress under the Nemanjic dynasty, has come to symbolise freedom, resistance to foreign aggressors, patriotism and national spirit, knighthood and heroism.

St Vitus' Day gained particular significance during the emergence of the modern Serbian state, becoming an official state holiday in 1889, on 500th anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo.

Photo AP, Visar Kryeziu