“Peace is achieved with the recognition of Kosova by Serbia, not with a mono-ethnic association”.
By MSc. Agim Aliçkaj
The very well-known Senator Robert Menendez holds a very important position. He is the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations in the US Senate. This Committee is considered one of the most powerful and prestigious in the Senate, due to its long history, broad influence on U.S. foreign policy, jurisdiction over all diplomatic nominations, as the only Senate Committee to deliberate and and confirm international treaties.
A Doctor of Jurisprudence, Senator Menendez has been in the public service of the American people for fifty years and has held various important positions. His knowledge and commitment to human rights anywhere in the world can be compared to the legendary Congressman Tom Lantos. As a child of an immigrant family who fled from Cuba, he understands very well the persecution of innocent people by communist and fascist regimes such as Cuba and Serbia.
His speech at the meeting with the Albanian American community organized by the Albanian American Civic League led by the living heroes of the Albanian nation Joe DioGuardi and Shirley Cloyes DioGuardi was historic. His positions are clear, reasonable, well argued, fair and strong. His knowledge, even in details, about the conflict between Serbia and Kosova is impressive.
“The permanent solution cannot be achieved with bad short-term decisions”, Menendez said. “Kosova has accepted Ahtisaari’s plan and Serbia should do the same. The Constitution of Kosova, based on this plan, guarantees all the rights of the Serbian minority. There are misuses on their part, in municipalities with a Serbian majority the Albanian language is not taught, while in those with an Albanian majority Serbian is taught”.
“Peace is achieved with the recognition of Kosova by Serbia, not with a mono-ethnic association, which creates ethnic divisions and undermines the functioning of the state. The recognition of independence comes first, everything else is connected and can be resolved with it. This is not only right for Kosova, but also for the Balkans and for the national interest and security of the United States”.
His disagreement with the State Department demonstrates the beauty of democracy and the genius of the American Constitution. Two different branches with different opinions. The US administration, as an executive branch, has ample room for tactical decisions in foreign policy. But, in the long run, their actions must be explained and harmonized with the legislative branch, consistent with American strategic interests.
American diplomats will have a hard time justifying their recent actions in the Western Balkans before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The Serbian minority in Kosova has more rights and privileges than any other minority in the world. Albanians in southern Serbia are denied basic human rights. The principle of self-determination cannot be applied at will, just because someone does not like the country they live in.
How can they justify support and appeasement of Serbia, an autocratic hegemonic state, a constant troublemaker and permanent destabilizer of Europe?! How can they undermine and threaten Kosova, a peaceful and democratic state created by America itself, with the most pro-American people in the world?! Explanation with temporary geostrategic interests will not be enough to override the enduring sacred American values of justice, tolerance, diversity, and inclusion.
The majority people of Kosova have elected Prime Minister Albin Kurti and President Vjosa Osmani to rescue Kosova. They must resist the unfair international pressure for pure Serbian ethnic association and other harmful concessions at the expense of the country they represent.
Kosova has no obligation to accept the agreement which was found unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court.
The Kosova leadership must refuse it even if the international diplomats are unhappy, even if they do not meet with them, even if they do not give them visas, even if they threaten them with sanctions and isolation. The Albanian diaspora will be mobilized and will have the strength to support Kosova’s position in every aspect. If they are ousted from power, the people of Kosova will vote them in again with 80% of the majority.
If Serbia dares to enter the adventure of war, it will end badly for them. The Balkans will be engulfed in flames. Kosova will become Serbia’s grave.
With begging and concessions, Serbia will never recognize Kosova.
There is only one solution to this conflict created by Serbia. Recognition of Kosova’s independence by the five EU countries that have not yet done so and accelerated NATO membership. Only in this way can peace and security be guaranteed. If the Western countries are not ready to do it, the dialogue with Serbia is meaningless.
Senator Menendez’s voice of wisdom, reason and justice in this regard must be considered. His public statement is an extremely important step in the right direction.
The right of the people of Kosova to exist and live freely in peace and harmony with neighboring countries must be respected.
Excerpts from my speech at the meeting:
DEAR SENATOR MENENDEZ,
Thirty-two years ago I left Kosova with my family, escaping the Serbian state oppression. We came to America, the best country in the world, the land of democracy, justice and opportunity. We are living the American dream just like my friends here and thousands of other Albanian-Americans across the country.
We want people in Southeast Europe to live the same dream in peace and prosperity. Unfortunately, this is hindered by the aggressive behavior of only one country, the hegemonic chauvinist state of Serbia aided and abetted by Russia.
Serbia is an aggressor, which has caused four wars and two genocides in Bosnia and Kosova. Serbia has not changed a bit. It is trying to achieve the same goals as the war criminal Milosevic, using different methods. The Serbian people have been brainwashed with lies and propaganda and poisoned with hatred for Albanians and other surrounding nations. Denazification of Serbia is necessary to give peace a chance.
In April 2002, President Biden said “Until the Serbian people look themselves in the face and understand what their leaders have done in their name, they will not be able to shed this notion of victimization, they can never cure themselves of the disease that they are the oppressed… and this cycle will continue and continue”. This cycle is continuing today.
The Albanian people are ready to move forward and join democratic Europe. They do not hate the Serbian people. They hate the Serbian state that has tried to exterminate them in coordination with the Orthodox Church and the Serbian Academy of Sciences. Their dark plans are written and documented. Kosova does not seek revenge, but expects Serbian criminals to be brought to justice.
In February 2021, President Biden said that “the agreement to normalize relations must be centered around mutual recognition.” He knows this matter better than anyone. He knows how Serbian politicians lie, pretend, deceive, fabricate and play the victim.
It is beyond any imagination why are European and American diplomats trying to change his direction. It is so painful to see an American ambassador saying that he is sorry that Serbia was bombed for committing genocide. Even more so another American diplomat who threatens the democratically elected government of Kosova. We hope you can personally contact President Biden and find a way to stop this unprecedented injustice.
Hospitality and the code of honor called Besa are great values of the Albanian tradition. It is considered that the house belongs to the guest and God. Based on this tradition, the Albanian people saved all the Jews who lived or arrived in Albanian lands during the Holocaust. I am very proud that my father Arif Alickaj was part of this all-Albanian effort. Our house today belongs to you Senator Menendez, the guests and God.
May God bless American people!
May God bless Albanian people!