Prime Minister of Kosovo’s caretaker government, Albin Kurti has warned the people not fall for the alleged joint attempts of Presidents of Kosovo and Serbia, Hashim Thaçi and Aleksandar Vučić, to destabilize the country through ethnic tensions in north.
In a video message, Kurti explained that his government has ordered the lockdown of two towns in north of the country inhabited by Serbian majority, due to relatively high numbers of those infected with Covid-19 and in compliance with the WHO guidelines.
He implied that Thaçi and Vučić were behind the ensuing recent attacks by some media and politicians accusing the government of following Serbia’s order for the lockdown. Kurti claimed that both presidents were trying to create inter-ethnic conflicts, in an attempt to make their old plan for exchange of territories seem plausible.
“Yes, there are politicians and senior officials in Belgrade who want conflict in Kosovo, especially in the north of the Ibar [River]. There are also politicians and senior officials in Pristina who want a conflict in Kosovo, especially in north of Ibar. They want to incite tensions because they want incidents.
If it were implemented, their project for territorial exchange would have provoked new conflicts and bloodshed. That project failed. Now they want conflicts and bloodshed on the ground in order to return to the territorial exchange, namely the partition of Kosovo. The same is true of the intention to declare a state of emergency at any cost. Since they failed to declare it, they now want to cause [an emergency situation and then] declare it.”
In relation to the lockdown, which they alleged was ordered by Serbia, some of the largest political parties (LDK, PDK, Nisma) and the president accused the government of lacking power to exercise Kosovo’s sovereignty in the northern part of the country.
“Do not believe those who contributed to the partition of Mitrovica and left it undeveloped and in misery for over two decades, when they demand sovereignty and integrity from a government that they overthrew before even making two months in office.”
The Kurti government was ousted by parliament on March 25, after junior coalition partner LDK’ no-confidence vote.
The EU delegation in Pristina praised the work of the government “aimed at increasing cooperation and providing support to all communities living in Kosovo.” and called on parties to put aside political differences and unhelpful debates.
In a letter, the US Embassy thanked Minister of Health Arben Vitia for the work done with the epidemic. The also put out a statement calling for all parties to work together to contain the spread of the virus by also “putting aside community divisions”.
On Sunday, the European Federation of Journalists warned journalists covering the region that Thaçi and Vučić are using the coronavirus crisis to inflame political and social tensions in their own interest in Kosovo.
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