To Set The Record Straight:In regard to an open letter from Congressman Dana Rorebacher to Serbia’s President Tomislav Nikolich/
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher/
By Dr. Gjon BUCAJ/
After meeting with Former Congressman Joe Dio Guardi and gathering information about the arrest of Mr. Ramush Haradinaj, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher wrote a letter to the president of Serbia Nikolich on January 31, 2017. In that letter he states he was disheartened to learn that “a 13-year old Interpol arrest warrant was activated against Kosovo MP and former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj.” He characterizes the arrest by French authorities as “yet another regrettable setback in Serbian relations with Kosovo.” He further states that “the effort to have Haradinaj detained as a war criminal after he has been twice acquitted by the international criminal court for the former Yugoslavia—was counter-productive and simply ripping a scab off a healing wound. Such acts of irrational vengeance will undoubtedly undermine efforts to secure peace and maintain stability in the Balkans.” The congressman reminds Nikolich that “this hit on a leader of the KLA could well open the door to similar legal attacks on the Serbian leaders involved in the bloodletting and ethnic cleansing during the ugly and brutal conflict…”
He also cites Serbia’s provocation against Kosovo by trying to send a train with offensive slogans across the border. In order to “deescalate the conflict between Prishtina and Belgrade” the request for persecution must be withdrawn.
Unfortunately Rep. Rohrabacher advises President Nikolich “instead of trying to entice Kosovo into a fight” over protecting its territorial sovereignty, “both sides should seek a mutually beneficial alteration of the northern border,” insinuating territorial exchange, an option that “is available.” Rep. Rohrabacher did not put this option on the table but simply mentioned it as an available option mentioned by somebody in Kosovo, which is rejected by the government and the people of new country.
VATRA’s stand is clear and unwavering that territorial exchange is unacceptable since northern Mitrovica and the Presheva Valley are both Kosovo territories, the latter being arbitrarily annexed to the Republic of Serbia at a time when Kosovo was an autonomous republic.
The reversal of ethnic cleansing by returning displaced families at the end of the 1999 war remains incomplete today. Ethnic Albanian families displaced by force have yet to return to their rightful homes in Northern Mitrovica.
The “zajednica”, association of Kosovo municipalities with an ethnic Serbian majority, should be implemented by the Kosovo state constitution, as designed by the Ahtisaari plan. The government of Kosovo should implement it in agreements with Serbia with the condition that ethnic Albanians in the Presheva Valley be given same rights and privileges as ethnic Serbs in Kosovo.