Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic says that he has invited citizens of Serbia to “an internal dialogue on Kosovo and Metohija.”
The reason is “not to leave this burden to the descendants.”
“It’s time for us to as a nation stop burying our heads in the sand and try to be realistic, not to allow ourselves to lose or give to someone what we have, but also not to wait for what we have long lost to arrive in our hands,” Vucic wrote in an op-ed published in the daily Blic.
Recalling that “Shimon Peres explained once that he insists on negotiations with the Palestinians, saying, ‘but imagine just what could happen if he didn’t do that’,” Vucic points out that he, too, “when he should answer about the need for dialogue with Pristina and the internal Serbian dialogue on Kosovo” says, “just imagine what could be… if suddenly everyone stopped talking.”
“After many years of dealing with politics in this region, I know this answer very well. Since 1878, since the creation of the so-called Prizren League, we Serbs did not want to be responsible enough to understand the strength and aspirations of the Albanians,” said he.
On the other hand, he thinks it is “a mistake of Albanians, and a big one,” that they “lack the understanding of Serbian state and national interests and underestimate them.”
“Serbia is not to be underestimated, despite the fact that Albanians in the implementation of their national ideas have the significant support from most Western countries. Today’s Serbia is not as it was, Serbia is not as weak as it was in 1999, 2004, and 2008, Serbia is not, nor must it be arrogant as it has been not rarely,” Vucic said in his text.
Silence, he assess, “means we no longer care about the answers to anything anymore,” that “we have ceased to hope, and it is the quality of those who think only they are right, and that they have nothing more to learn or discuss with anybody.”
“It’s the modus operandi of tyrannies always ready to spill someone else’s blood. In the end, silence is the end. After it nobody speaks,” said Vucic.
He went on to note that he “does not see himself in this business of silence” nor in “such, numb Serbia – because if that happens, not only will my policy be a failure, but also my whole life.”
The solution, he emphasizes, “does not lie on one hand in our myths and conflicts, but on the other either in giving up all our national and state interests.”
Opponents of the dialogue on Kosovo with Pristina, he thinks, “are also those to whom every loss is victory, and who rejoice in another’s misfortune as their success, because they do not know about any other kind of success.”
“Their reason for this kind of inaction, which is a kind of historical crime, given the weight of the question that looks for the answer, lies in the hopes of someone, finally ‘giving Kosovo’ to somebody and for doing so, to their joy, bear the consequences,” wrote Vucic.
According to Vucic, he can understand such an attitude from the standpoint of daily politics, “but from the point of view of history there is no justification or understanding for that.”
“Because our hardest question basically is precisely that, and because it is necessary, as never before, that all of us, together find the answer. And one which will last, which will exclude the conflict as an option, and who will benefit everyone in these areas.”
And finding a solution, he continued, “demands a head hot from constant thinking, a heart that is cold to excessive emotions and hands dirtied with compromises. Both our and Albanian.”
“Finding the solution, requires also the work of everyone, and a clear awareness of the fact that what we are doing is a long, intricate and painful process, but first of all that kind of change in our collective mindset that often experiences every deal has as defeat. That’s simply not true,” says the president of Serbia.
“We did not win anything so great in wars, that we lost in peace. Because everything that we received and lost in wars, paid for with the hardest possible price, the one that cannot be compensated – our lives and the lives of our children,” said, and added that this “has to stop.”
“It’s time for Serbia to work, think and win, win without conflict. And I am convinced that we are able to do it as soon as today. Anyway, imagine what could be.”
“All the paths of political cooperation and economic progress would be open to Serbia, the European Union’s door, too. Otherwise, we will keep a conflict whose essence we do not understand,” warns the president of Serbia.
He thinks Serbia needs “a serious and responsible approach, courageous and realistic with a view to the future.”
Serbia is today respected everywhere in the world, according to Vucic.
“Until three years ago it was bankrupt and today it has a surplus in the budget, the growth of the economy is much higher than the average and it has shown that it can win not only in basketball and water polo but also in economics and politics,” wrote Vucic, and concluded: “In order for our progress to be steady and sustainable, we need, if nothing else to at least try to resolve the Kosovo (Gordian) knot, and not to hide, and leave the greatest burden zo our children. To live means to love the country on which children are walking, and not just to boast with the victories of our grandfathers.”