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High-ranking Serbian official arrested in Kosovo

Marko Djuric. Photo: Kurir.rs

On March 26, officers of the Kosovo “special police” have arrested the director of the Serbian Office for Kosovo and Metohija Marko Djuric in Kosovska Mitrovica. The militants rushed into a hall where a round-table discussion was taking place on the “domestic dialog” on future of Kosovo and Metohija. The attackers dispersed the participants using tear-gas and arrested the Serbian official, a correspondent of Kossev portal reports from the scene. The report on Djuric’s arrest was confirmed by the chair of the Kosovo Serbs Party Goran Rakic.

Marko Djuric and Nikola Selaković, the Presidency Secretary of the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić, went to Kosovska Mitrovica despite the fact that the separatist authorities refused to give them permission. They joined participants of the discussion. The “dialog” was organized in mid-2017 under an initiative of President Vucic who said the main task was to hear opinions of the citizens on possible scenarios of the Kosovo conflict settlement.

Initially, it was planned that the discussion would start at 12:44 in support of UN Security Council Resolution 1244, but it started four hours later, as the Pristina authorities did not let the Serbian officials cross the administrative line between Serbia and Kosovo. Earlier in the morning, representatives of Pristina warned Djuric and Selakovic that they would be arrested if they cross the border. Spokesperson for the EU representative on foreign and security issues Maja Kocijančič warned the two parties that they must be observing the current agreement of visits of officials.

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Before the arrest, Djuric managed to address the participants. He stressed that the Kosovo issue cannot be settled without Serbs and interests of the Serbian population in Kosovo and Metohija that suffered a lot within last two decades are to be taken into account.

“From here, Kosovska Mitrovica, I would like to inform that North Kosovo and Metohija has never and will never be a part of the so-called independent Kosovo as well as part of the so-called Greater Albania. Such projects are supported only by those who want to stir a conflict in this territory. We have come here today as Serbia wants to hear what you would like to say about Kosovo and Metohija> Like before, Serbia will be with you,” Djuric is quoted as saying by Kossev.

Djuric stressed that the Serbian president’s policy is aimed at a compromise that supposes that Kosovo Serbs would also “get something.”

Goran Rakic, who is a co-chair of the Serb List, in turn called to “form the Community of Serb Municipalities on their own,” if Pristina does not want to fulfill its obligations.

Under the Brussels Agreement signed in 2013 by Belgrade and Pristina, Pristina obliged to establish an association of Serb municipalities in northern Kosovo mostly populated by Serbs.

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