Agreement reached on building road near Decan Monastery - Gazeta Express

Gazeta Express

12/11/2020 13:36

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Agreement reached on building road near Decan Monastery

Gazeta Express

12/11/2020 13:36

Kosovo prime minister, Avdullah Hoti, and the EU Office in Kosovo confirmed Thursday that an agreement was reached on the rehabilitation of the roads in a protected area around the Serbian Orthodox monastery in Decan, Gazeta Express reports.

The EU office issued a statement Thursday saying that Implementation and Monitoring Council (IMC) during a meeting held in Pristina endorsed an arrangement on the rehabilitation of roads in the Decan municipality adhering to the relevant Kosovo Law no. 03/L-039 on Special Protective Zones (SPZ) of 15 June 2008.

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“The arrangement includes the synchronous development of both an international bypass road external to the SPZ boundaries and of a local road within the SPZ. It aims at fostering inter-community relations through the protection of religious cultural heritage and bolstering the economic development within the municipality of Decan and the region,” the EU office said in a statement. According to the EU Office in Pristina the arrangement was facilitated by the Ambassador of Italy to Kosovo Nicola Orlando, with support and expertise provided by KFOR Commander, Major General Michele Risi. The statement said that the IMC members will follow up on implementation of the arrangement with the support of KFOR, acting within its mandate.

Prime Minister Hoti in a Facebook post thanked Ambassador Orlando and KFOR Commander Risi for their contribution. “This agreement is a result of monthly—long fruitful and constructive discussions, between the Municipality of Decan and representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the Decan Monastery,” Hoti wrote. He said that reaching of this agreement, proves that the Republic of Kosovo is a country that respects and protects equally the rights and freedoms.

Reaching of this agreement was welcomed also by the US Embassy in Kosovo. “We applaud the IMC for reaching an agreement for road rehabilitation in Deçan/Dečane respecting the rule of law and protecting Kosovo’s rich cultural and religious heritage. We also thank the IMC members, Ambassador Orlando, and COMKFOR Risi for their efforts to achieve this,” the US Embassy posted on Twitter.

The Serbian Orthodox Church has disputed construction of the road which intersects the property of the Decan Monastery and links Kosovo with Montenegro. Following complaints of Decan Monastery and foreign ambassadors in Kosovo the Government of Kosovo ordered halting of construction work until a solution is found. Decan Monastery abbot Sava Janjic claims that the building of the highway will endanger the medieval monastery and violate Kosovo’s Law on Special Protected Areas. Janjic told media earlier that he is not against the road, on which building work started in 2018, but that it should not run past the monastery, which is located in a special protected area. /GazetaExpress/