Serbian Ideas for Kosovo Partition Could Have Domino Effect - Kosovo Foreign Minister

World | July 1, 2011, Friday // 10:10|  views

Kosovo Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj was on a visit in Sofia over the week. Photo by BGNES

The idea for the partition of Kosovo along ethnic lines is "a very dangerous one", and it could have a domino effect across the region, starting a new phase of ethnic violence and fragmentation, Kosovo Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj has warned in an interview for (Sofia News Agency).

Hoxhaj, who met with his Bulgarian counterpart Nikolay Mladenov over the week in the first visit of a top diplomat of the young Republic of Kosovo in Sofia, commented on the rising calls by some political factors in Belgrade such as Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Ivica Dacic that Kosovo should be split up between the government in Prishtina and Belgrade along ethnic lines, with the Serbian minority in northern Kosovo going to Serbia.

Kosovo's top diplomat, who was appointed in charge of the young country's Foreign Ministry in February 2011, stressed that one of the main reasons for the start of the technical dialogue between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia, which was initiated based on a UN resolution from September 2010, is "to have normal relations between Kosovo and Serbia, to put the past behind, and to start building trust."

He said the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue for the time being is focused very much on issues such as freedom of movement of people, freedom of trade, issues of telecommunication and energy, and other issues linked with the past, with the deeper idea to prepare both countries for their European perspective.

"We think that Serbia should start coming to terms with an independent Kosovo, and I think it is the job of the politicians in Serbia to start modernizing its economy, society, and politics, and to start overcoming the agenda of conflict. The sooner this happens, the better, it will be for the benefit of the people living in Serbia," Hoxhaj told (Sofia News Agency).

He stated that "the Kosovo Serb minority has been integrated in the best way", largely thanks to the implementation of the plan of special UN envoy Marti Ahtisaari that Kosovo Foreign Minister described as "an international settlement for the Kosovo status in the best way possible."

Hoxhaj did stress that Kosovo has become the seventh independent state on the territory of the former Yugoslavia, saying that "Kosovo is actually the last chapter in the disintegration of Yugoslavia," after Montenegro got independence in 2006, and Kosovo in 2008.

"The issue of borders, states, and territories in the region is actually a closed chapter. We would never accept ideas of ethnic and territorial partitions because these ideas would create instability, they would produce violence, and the whole region would simply go back as it was 20 years ago. We are not at all in favor of creating monoethnic states in the region but we should have heterogeneous states and societies. In that sense, no one is supporting the idea of the partition," Kosovo's top diplomat declared.

He also said that the majority of the Kosovo Serbs actually live not in the northern part of Kosovo but across the country, and alleged that they are "very well integrated" by taking part in the political life, in the central government, and local authorities.

Hoxhaj further snubbed the prospects for the creation of a "Greater Albania", an idea that a recent poll found is favored by the majority of the ethnic Albanians in Albania, Kosovo, and Macedonia.

"I think there are always different ethnic minority groups living across Europe, and I think it is a really anti-European vision to promote the concept of monoethnic or ethnic states. I think this was something which 20 years ago created an environment of hatred and started ethnic conflicts, prepared the spirit of the ethnic wars, and I think the idea of creating new ethnic states in the Balkans is very dangerous," Kosovo's Foreign Minister stated, emphasizing that the Kosovo state is organized around the principle of citizenship not around ethnicity.

"Whatever the government might think and propose in Belgrade about partition, we are saying no to that because these are very bad solutions, and they will actually open the gates to hell. Today Kosovo's independence is a fact in the region, and I don't think that we would accept or recommend ideas that are actually coming from the time of Milosevic. For us, the ideas for exchanging territories and population belong to the past, and this is a closed issue," Hoxhaj concluded.  

Full Text of the exclusive interview of (Sofia News Agency) with Kosovo Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj READ HERE

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Tags: Enver Hoxhaj, Foreign Minister, kosovo, Kosovo independence, Serbia, ethnic Albanians, macedonia, Albania, Greater Albania, Hashim Thaci, partition, Belgrade, Prishtina, Gorans, Gorani, Bosniaks, Nikolay Mladenov, International Court of Justice, advisory opinion, EU, former Yugoslavia


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