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PRESS RELEASE- 29.11.2013.

29. November 2013.

The Government of the Republic of Serbia received a letter with the demands from the Albanian political leaders and it will  be answered  in due time. No new details were stated in the letter, so that we can’t comment on the ways in which the political leaders of the Albanians communicate with the governmental bodies and top governmental officials.  All requests of the Albanian leaders are set out in the Government’s seven-point report, which was adopted on June 4 of this year,  and the Government is, therefore, the guarantee that they shall be  discussed and agreed upon respecting solely and exclusively the Constitution, the laws and the international conventions. Neither more nor less.

The Albanian political leaders in the municipalities of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja should continue the talks and I’m asking them to do so, so that the residents wouldn’t suffer the consequences and we wouldn’t waste valuable time. 

I'm sure that they know the legal system of this country vey well, as well as the  that country is extremely cooperative, patient and willing to collaborate.  I’m of the view that that trust shouldn’t be “gambled away”.   

We in the Government of Serbia are firmly committed to maintaining  our way of respect for the Constitution, the laws and the international conventions on the rights of national minorities. The solutions don’t lie in the selective approach to meeting the requirements of one side, without recognizing the possibilities and limitations of the other one. The Albanian leaders from these municipalities must know that the laws can’t be selectively applied, since, in that way, the legal system is degraded, which results in serious consequences for all of us. Good will and a desire to solve the problems of this national minority are our goals and I think that the other side should show how responsible it is to the government  that makes efforts to resolve the issues that the Albanian leaders themselves put  before us as our priorities. The residents of these municipalities have to know that they are the biggest concern of the Coordination Body of the Government of the Republic of Serbia. And I also believe that the Albanian leaders are aware that the leaders from the Government of Serbia and I won’t get fooled by such provocations.

If someone's interest goes beyond the interests of the people in these municipalities, then he/she must be held accountable and be aware of the fact that the legal system of this country would sanction such behavior. This matter is essentially an internal issue of Serbia and all solutions lie in the Constitution, the laws and the international conventions on national minorities, it’s only necessary to comply with them.  

I once again urge the political leaders of the Albanians to turn to the talks and to the resolving of the problems of the citizens in these three municipalities. Our hand is extended to them this time, too. 

President of the Coordination Body
Prof. Zoran Stankovic, PhD

In Belgrade, November 29, 2013