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Kurti: We want normal Kosovo and normal Serbia (DW, B92)

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Albin Kurti, MP of Self-Determination, talks to Deutsche Welle and says that Kosovo should have the right to vote on a referendum on unification with Albania, and why he rejects the Brussels dialogue and the Community of Serb municipalities.

“We have been separated from Albania more than a century ago – by the violent, undemocratic way by the great powers. We would like to have the right to unite with Albania in a democratic and peaceful manner – so we would not start the third Balkan war,” Kurti says in an interview conducted in the Serbian language.

Journalist DW noticed that in the premises of the Self-Determination movement, where the interview was conducted, there was no flag of Kosovo but only of Albania.

“Of course we recognize the Republic of Kosovo, but we think that Article 1, item 3 of the Constitution, which does not allow us to have an external apse of our sovereignty – self-determination of the people – is not a just. We think that we have to have that right. We think that Kosovo’s independence has not been pronounced against Albania but against Serbia,” Kurti says.

The question about the ideas of a division of Kosovo or the exchange of territory – the north of Kosovo for the Presevo Valley – Kurti answers: “I think that Serbia wants us to want that, so that we make trade in the territories. By this, we would get our hand off the north of Kosovo.” He added that he was against the withdrawal from northern Kosovo “not only because of our country, but also because of Mitrovica, people there, and economic development whose essence is the revitalization of Trepca.”

Speaking about his opposition to the Community of Serb Municipalities, Kurti takes an example of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), he says, “the beginning of the Republic of Srpska was precisely in the association of municipalities with the majority Serbian population.” “I think that Serbia has the same goals, the same mentality, the same politicians, but other means because the circumstances are different now.”

“In principle, I am not against dialogue, but I am against dialogue without principle,” Kurti says of the Brussels dialogue, which he opposes. He stated that under the term “normalization” Belgrade, Pristina and Brussels understand completely different things.

“I think that Serbia is an abnormal state, I do not think Kosovo is a normal state either. If you normalize the relationship between two abnormal states, this will mean a growth of abnormality. We want a normal Kosovo, a normal Serbia, so normal relations will be a natural consequence of that,” he says.

He assesses that there cannot be reconciliation until Serbia recognizes Kosovo and do not agree to pay for war reparations.

The Self-Determination politician states that “Serbia wants to become the main player in this part of the Balkans by imitating Russia”. “The collapse of the Soviet Union has led to a large octopus where you have a Russian Federation in the center, and then Belarus, eastern Ukraine, Gagauzia, Transnistria, South Ossetia … these are tentacles of octopus.”

On the other hand, Kurti adds, Belgrade has wings in the neighbourhood, in which he includes “the Republic of Srpska in Bosnia, the Serb parties in Montenegro who are against Montenegro’s independence, then the enclaves in Kosovo – a quarter of Kosovo’s territory controls the parallel structures of Serbia – and you have, until yesterday, the regime of Gruevski in Macedonia and the Serbian Orthodox Church.”

“I think that Serbia had a chance only for two and a half years while there was the Prime Minister Djindjic. After they killed Djindjic everything went wrong. We are now again in Milosevic’s time and instead of Milosevic you have Vucic, and you have Seselj instead of Seselj,” the Kosovo MP says.

“Serbia has always wanted to settle with its neighbours, and I think it should settle with itself, to deal with its past,” Kurti said, assessing that the “internal dialogue” on Kosovo in Serbia is actually “external monologue of Vucic”.

Asked for a position on the Special Court for the KLA crimes, Kurti says that it is “an ethnical court” whose decisions “would collapse in Strasbourg”. He adds that for crimes against Serbs should be accountable all the “individuals” who committed them. “I would not make any compromise with justice. If Self-Determination was in power, we would raise our paws from the institutions of rule of law, the courts would be independent and they could condemn those individuals. “

For poor state of affairs in Kosovo, some of the blame Alibi Kurti attributes to the international community that ruled by the “paradigm of short-term political stability”. “Whenever international diplomats say the rule of law, they do not think about justice and law but about stability.”

”It is most surprising to me that the international community in Kosovo, 18 years after the war, did not deal with the criminals of peace at all. Here, there was a brutal neo-liberal privatization, nepotism, followed by mania of tenders.  They had countless facts and arguments to condemn these corrupt politicians, but they did nothing,” Kurti concludes.

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