Serbia: Minister reacts to ethnic Albanian declaration

BELGRADE

Chairman of the Coordination Body for Southern Serbia Milan Marković says the recent ethnic Albanian declaration “will not solve any problems”. The body deals with issues in the southern municipalities of Preševo, Bujanovac and Medveđa, where Serbia’s largest population of ethnic Albanians outside of Kosovo itself lives.

Serbia has the complete support of the international community for the policies it leads in the south, Marković, who is also a cabinet minster, told B92 on Monday. He said that no international mediation is needed for solving the problems which the state has with the demands of the local Albanians living in that region of Serbia.

“It is completely unnecessary to talks about these things. Serbia has the complete support of international officials for the policies which we formulated together,” he said. “The rhetoric in the declaration does not exist in our talks. I think that it is maybe the result of nervousness of the more radical elements, because we do not respond to terrorist acts or any kind of provocations in the way they want us to. We will continue to implement our policies,” Marković said.

An assembly of ethnic Albanian councilors in the region adopted a declaration on Saturday announcing an initiative for creating “regional institutions of Albanians and forming the Preševo Valley region”.

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