Belgrade, 10 May: The head of the Serb List for Kosovo and Metohija (SLKM), Oliver Ivanovic, said today that the time has come for Belgrade to quit dealing with obstructing work of Kosovo institutions, and that it depends only on Belgrade to decide when SLKM will join the institutions.
"Time has shown that even a small group of eight MPs could have done much more within rather than outside institutions. There are more and more people in Serbian government who understand the necessity of Serb representatives to join the Kosovo Assembly, and even the government. The current strategy was an obstruction to Kosova [Kosovo] institutions, as we were not satisfied with their work in the past three years, and we didn't want to give a multiethnic character to it. The time has come to change this strategy and to participate in institutions," Ivanovic told the media in Belgrade.
Ivanovic has specified that an agreement between senior officials of Serbia and the Serbia-Montenegro Union, Vojislav Kostunica, Boris Tadic, Miroljub Labus, Nebojsa Covic, Svetozar Marovic, and Vuk Draskovic is needed so that the SLKM can join the Kosovo institutions.
Oliver Ivanovic said that he is "sure" that official Belgrade is working in the interests of Kosovo Serbs, although he had some remarks in this direction. "Very often they do not inform us on their steps related to Kosovo. We represent the Serbs living in Kosovo, and Serbian state leadership should exchange with us views and experiences for solving of the problem. Situation on the ground is even worse by the fact that almost each political leader from Belgrade wants to have his own 'Serb' in Kosovo, and this is one of the reasons for disunity between the Serb political groups from Kosovo," Ivanovic said.
He said that he got the report, which the head of UNMIK [UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo] Soeren Jessen-Petersen is to present in the United Nations Security Council session for Kosova. "I can only say that Petersen's report is a little bit euphoric and presents the situation in Kosovo better than it is. This is surprising, because he talks about the results of his mission. That what we (Serb politicians) have to understand, is that we can criticize Petersen's report effectively only within institutions and not through the press conferences," Ivanovic underlined.
Ivanovic believes that the meeting between Kosova's President Ibrahim Rugova and that of Serbia Boris Tadic will take place. Ivanovic says that it is not important "who has invited whom for talks, but it is important to know its impact among the citizens. If an ordinary citizen sees that his president is talking with the representative of another nation, maybe even this citizen will conclude that the time of disputes has passed and at least we can talk without any problem."
Oliver Ivanovic has confirmed that the meeting of "Council for Kosovo and Metohija," which includes all Serb senior representatives and Serb political representatives from Kosova, will take place today in Belgrade. The main topic will be reaching of a common stance before the meeting of the working group on return on 12 May in Belgrade, but also there will be discussions on the possible joining of the SLKM to the parliament.
Source: KosovaLive web site, Pristina, in English 10 May 05