Text of commentary by Agim Mehmeti: "When will Macedonia embrace Kosova?", published by Macedonian Albanian-language newspaper Fakti on 20 December
What is the picture of Kosova [Kosovo] that Macedonians see and who is painting such a gloomy picture? Undoubtedly, despite continuous efforts by Albanian politicians and the media, Macedonians still see Kosova as a permanent hotbed of crisis that could also engulf Macedonia at any time. Kosova is a dark spot on the Macedonians' souls, minds and memories. To them, Kosova is what it is to the Serbs - a nightmare and a pain. But, it is a pain that disregards the pain of others and their rights. This is how ordinary Macedonians see and perceive Kosova. But, who has been serving up this image of Kosova and Kosova Albanians with so much fear and enmity to them?
The SDSM [Social Democratic Alliance of Macedonia] has always been the source of hatred and fear of Kosova and Kosovars in Macedonia. It is the party that is regarded, with good reason, as the most pro-Serbian party in Macedonia. In its midst, this party harbours people who have had their eyes set on Moscow and later on Belgrade. And, it is certain that this party's people who, if you remember, did not hesitate to organize anti-US demonstrations during the campaign to save the Albanians from Milosevic's regime, have always led media campaigns against Kosova, and these campaigns continue to this day. Intelligence structures in this party, which have always cooperated with similar structures in Serbia, are trying to scare the public with the help of Macedonian journalists from the Serbian school and tradition. In this respect, the role of "citizen Crvenkovski" was significant.
Analysing all this unnatural Macedonian fear of Kosova and Kosovars, which is manifested through their ridiculous concerns about "Macedonia's fate if Kosova becomes independent, the effect of Haradinaj's appointment as prime minister on Macedonia, dangers that Albanians' Western orientation poses for Macedonia", and so forth, we have to say that Macedonians' concerns are wide of the mark. The truth is that an independent Kosova would mean that Macedonia would finally no longer have a border with Serbia. And, this could arouse painful nostalgia among former partisans, but nothing else. Realistically, Macedonia would gain a neighbour that does not have territorial ambitions against it and an economic partner that could contribute to the revival of Macedonian markets. This is the picture of Kosova that Macedonians should be seeing. At the moment, Kosova is a big terrible bogeyman in their heads. However, [DPA/ PDSh leader] Arben Xhaferri's interjections are not enough to dispel that image. In order to have "peace in the house", Buckovski should take some serious steps. He is said not to be greatly influenced by the Serbian lobby in the SDSM and that his leanings are pro-US. But, we remind Buckovski that Albanians, too, are pro-US - perhaps a little more than he is. It remains to be seen whether Macedonia will embrace Kosova. If for nothing else, than for its own good.