Kosovo’s Ambassador to Washington, Vlora Citaku, delivering her speech at the UN Security Council on Thursday reminded to Serbian Foreign Minister, Ivica Dacic, the repression of Serbia against people of Kosovo who expelled one million people from their homes in 1999.
“Our country has risen from the ashes of war, and it was the UN administration that lifted us up. Throughout the many years of UN administration in Kosovo, this chamber has provided guidance and facilitated a healthy debate about Kosovo and its future. It was actually UN special envoy, Martti Ahtisaari that recommended independence as the final status for Kosovo. And it was upon Serbia’s request that the International Court of Justice ruled clearly and without any ambiguity that Kosovo was within its rights when it declared independence. I don’t have to remind you that the ruling of the court was accepted by the UN General Assembly, recommending the launch of a dialogue for the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia,” Citaku told UNSC members who convened Thursday to discuss a regular report on Kosovo presented by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
She said that Kosovo will never negotiate its statehood, adding that Pristina is ready to talk about building constructive relations as neighbours with Serbia. “As equals. However, this is exactly where the problem lies. Serbia is inherently opposed to the idea that Kosovo is its equal. That is why they create unnecessary drama everywhere they can about anything that makes them view us as their equals. It is pervasive, we see it everywhere, we see it in sports, and arts, and politics. There is a stubborn refusal to accept us as their peers,” Citaku said.
She said the decision to establish the army was a legal, constitutional, and prudent obligation to create the requisite security mechanisms that will enable Kosovo to contribute and be part of the regional and Euro-Atlantic security alliances. “Furthermore, it is a decision which demonstrates the maturity of Kosovo as a state. It is a paradigm shift of no small proportions for us to transform from consumers, to contributors of security. Now, they are conditioning the continuation the continuation of the dialogue with the removal of tariffs,” Citaku said referring to 100 percent tariffs the Government of Kosovo introduced in all Serbian goods.
She said that all the excuses and all the delays from Serbia do not alter the fact that Kosovo is free nation. “Dialogue should not be conditioned with excuses. Because, at the end of the day, Kosovo actually has real and painful reasons to condition the process. We have 20,000 reasons, for each of the women that were raped by Serbian military forces. We have 1,370 more, for each of the children that were killed in Kosovo by Serbian military forces. We have 1.600 reasons, for each and every one of the people who are still missing today,” Citaku said. “Even here today we had attempts to rewrite history. The war in the Balkans, massacres from Srebrenica to Recak and Izbica had one perpetrator. Serbia. Belgrade. We all know who the perpetrators were. And we know the victims. KLA was not a criminal or terrorist organization. It was a liberation movement. They were young women and men that took up arms to fight Milosevic. We are proud of them” she said.
Kosovo Ambassador said the decision of Parliament to approve ther statute of Trepca mining complex, was legitimate because it is an asset of Kosovo and reminded the Belgrade that time has gone for Serbia to take decisions on behalf of Kosovo. “Belgrade’s reaction to this decision revealed in the most blatant and brutal form the true neocolonial attitude that Serbia harbors visa vies Kosovo. Kosovo will not negotiate with Belgrade about Trepça or any other of our resources. They are in Kosovo, and they belong to the people of Kosovo. The times when decisions about our resources were made in Belgrade ended a long time ago,” she said. Ambassador Citaku said that Kosovo wants a sustainable peace and is time for Serbia to accept the reality and recognise the state of Kosovo.