Saturday, October 15, 2011

Bogdanovic: Use of force serves no one's interest

BELGRADE - Serbian Minister for Kosovo and Metohija Goran Bogdanovic has said that KFOR cannot possibly find interest in resolving political matters by force,
just as it is not in the interest of the Serbs to have clashes with KFOR, adding that the sides are very close to reaching an agreement on the peaceful resolution of the crisis in the Kosovo north.

“It is not in the interest of KFOR to resort to force in order to solve some political issues, just as it is not in the Serbs' interests to have conflicts with KFOR. We are very close to reaching an agreement on ways to resolve the crisis peacefully,” Bogdanovic said for the Saturday edition of the Belgrade-based Politika daily.

“We are in constant contact with KFOR and we are urging both KFOR and the Serbs to get rid of these problems peacefully. I am sure that the Serbs will not attempt to provoke the use of force against them in any way. But I cannot allow some problems that are of political nature to be dealt with by use of force,” said.

Asked whether KFOR seriously planned to forcibly remove the roadblocks leading to the administrative crossings in northern Kosovo if the Serbs failed to remove them on their own, Bogdanovic said that it was very dangerous to remove the barricades by force, while talks, on the other hand, could easily yield a solution.

“They have been stating that they disagree with the manner in which the Serbs are protesting. However, it is very dangerous to forcibly remove the roadblocks. Ways to ensure freedom of movement for KFOR can be easily reached through talks, as the representatives of the Serb municipalities (in northern Kosovo) have been constantly pointing out,” said the Serbian minister.

He said that the Serbs were ready to remove any roadblocks to allow free movement of KFOR but were not willing to remove the major barricades.

“We have no army, no police, no guns to defend ourselves against violence and violent methods used by either KFOR or anyone else. Unarmed people cannot resist any attacks by force. We only have the chance to express our dissatisfaction through peaceful protests,” he said.

If, however, the violent removal of the roadblocks takes place anyway, Bogdanovic believes that would make “tensions grow, deepen the crisis, and that is not in the interest of anyone, especially now when we are trying to establish a dialogue and resolve the problems through talks.”

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