The woman who just came to head the Municipality of Presevo, Ardita Sinani, believes that the final Kosovo-Serbia agreement in whatever format is reached should include the issue of the Presevo Valley.
In an interview with Gazeta Online Insajderi, the mayor of Presevo stated that regardless of whether an agreement is reached on “negotiating principles for minority rights”, “autonomy and territorial models” or “border corrections” – Presevo Valley should be points treated in all possible scenarios.
It is aware that the policy of the Valley can not determine the agenda, format or composition of the Kosovo-Serbia delegations to reach a historic solution.
But, she thinks that the Presevo Valley does not enter into a dialogue with the initiative of the Serbian President, Aleksandar Vucic, nor with the Speaker of the Parliament, Ivica Dacic – according to her, this is realized only with the insistence of the Government of Kosovo.
The head of the Government of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, a few days ago criticized Belgrade for passivizing the addresses of Albanians in municipalities with Albanians in Serbia.
The mayor of Presevo has the same concern.
“Address passivity is a modern form of racism that is implemented in the name of law, by administratively purging / eliminating members of a community from citizenship and citizenship,” she said.
He accuses that all this is being done with the policy of Aleksandar Vucic, the politician whom Sinan described as “authoritarian” and “neo-nationalist”.
He says that the “influence” was removed from the Serbian president by the Municipality of Presevo and that the local government led by Sinan is in opposition to the “Vucic regime”.
But Sinan’s opposition at the local level is now the former mayor of Presevo, Shqiprim Arifi, whom he took power by securing a majority in the municipal assembly.
“Work” with Arif, Sinan will not end only with allegations of corruption during the election campaign.
He stated that he would set up a professional auditor to investigate how public budget funds were spent by the previous local government.
While, for its governance in coalition with the Albanian Democratic Party and the Movement for Reforms, it emphasizes that “they have a plan” how to run the municipality.
This plan includes support for businesses, agriculture and livestock, quality administration for all, water supply and waste management as well as investment in public spaces.
Ardita Sinani also spoke about the support that the Valley should have from Tirana and Prishtina, in order for them to develop.
“When Serbia has a special government body for the Presevo Valley or even for Kosovo, why not have the Governments of Kosovo and Albania for the Presevo Valley,” said the mayor.
For Pristina and Tirana, the Presevo leadership has another requirement; Positive discrimination against Eastern Kosovo Albanians living in two independent Albanian states.
He calls the fact that there are Albanians from the Valley still living in Kosovo without documents a disaster. /Insajderi.com
Insajderi.com: What is your platform as mayor of Presevo?
Ardita Sinani: With the consolidation of the new government, we will engage a professional and independent auditor to examine how public budget funds have been spent by the previous government. It is important to clarify the many suspicions of corruption and misuse of our taxpayers’ money. From what we have seen so far, there is a lot of room for investigation.
First we will build transparent, professional governance and in the service of all citizens.
Secondly, we will start with the realization of the commitments of our pre-election campaign in four priority and fundamental segments:
- Businesses, Agriculture and Livestock – through which we increase employment and achieve development
- Administration for all – an administration that governs transparently and digitizes services to ensure equality of citizens in employment and to fight nepotism
- Water and waste – 24 hour supply of drinking water for all settlements of Presevo and cleaning and waste management for all localities of the municipality
- Public spaces – the addition of parks, playgrounds and public spaces for citizens
Insajderi.com: How do you comment on the attempt to passivize the addresses of Albanians?
Ardita Sinani: Address passivity is a modern form of racism that is implemented in the name of law, by administratively purging / eliminating members of a community from citizenship and citizenship. This is a violent state process that aims not only at the final cleansing of Albanians from Medvedja, but also at the demographic change of Bujanovac for the benefit of the local minority community, such as the Serbs of Bujanovac.
Insajderi.com: How will you address the issue of the Presevo Valley to be included in the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue?
Ardita Sinani: The state of Serbia is proving that it does not want the integration of Albanians. Official Belgrade seems more interested in expelling them. Belgrade itself is proving that the Presevo Valley issue is part of the dispute between Kosovo and Serbia.
We are aware that we do not determine the agenda, format and composition of delegations in the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue. But it is important that as legitimate representatives of the Valley we are directly or indirectly involved in everything that is negotiated over the Presevo Valley. Care must be taken that the Presevo Valley is not instrumentalized for the interests of different capitals. Dangerous is the idea of deciding the political fate of the Valley without the involvement and will of the citizens of the Valley.
Precisely in order to prevent such unilateral and asymmetric solutions that deepen the crisis and conflict, the Presevo Valley should be included. It is counterproductive to aim for lasting peace between Kosovo and Serbia without the involvement of the Presevo Valley. The issue of the Presevo Valley should be part of the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, both as a topic and through the physical presence of the elected members of the Presevo Valley.
Although in the negotiations for the liberation of Kosovo in Rambouillet and in Vienna for the independence of Kosovo, the absence of the Valley issue was somehow justified by the parties involved and the mediators, in the negotiations for the normalization of relations and mutual recognition Kosovo-Serbia did not it makes sense to miss the issue of the Presevo Valley. It does not make sense to talk about the constitutional reorganization, about the administrative-territorial organization, about the rights of the minorities of Kosovo, and not about those of Serbia, especially when we take into account that Serbia is still a much more territorially centralized state. and administratively, as well as with the Constitution and legislation that does not provide rights for minorities and socio-economic development for marginalized areas such as the Presevo Valley.
Of course, we do not expect Vuiqii and Da angazhiiq to commit to the inclusion of the Presevo Valley issue in any final Kosovo-Serbia agreement for the benefit of the Valley’s interests. We expect this first of all from the Government of the Republic of Kosovo.
Insajderi.com: What do you think about the idea of correcting the borders, is it possible to unite the Valley with Kosovo?
Ardita Sinani: As Valley Choices, we have harmonized our requirements and attitudes for all possible scenarios.
If the negotiating principles are the rights of minorities, then we demand reciprocity in rights with Kosovo Serbs.
If they are models of political and territorial autonomy, then the Presevo Valley should be included in those models.
If the borders are changed / corrected, then the Presevo Valley should be annexed as a whole to the Republic of Kosovo.
But for us, the priority remains the inclusion of the issue of the Valley and its elected representatives in the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue.
Insajderi.com: What do you expect from official Prishtina and Tirana?
Ardita Sinani: There have been several initiatives by the governments of Kosovo and Albania, such as the Valley Fund since the meeting of the two governments that was established in 2016 which has not been operational since then. Then the Government Haradinaj and Kurti 1 allocated some financial means for the Valley and the Hoti Government established the government office for the Valley. Likewise, the last Rama Government has allocated several funds and has been especially active in encouraging the all-Albanian coalition in Bujanovac and in creating a joint list for parliamentary elections. But a more serious state approach is still lacking.
The Presevo Valley should have institutional treatment based on a joint state or ideally interstate strategy by the authorities of Pristina and official Tirana, due to the difficult situation of the Presevo Valley, but also due to the political processes that are expected to take place regarding with the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, regional cooperation and European integration.
When Serbia has a special government body for the Presevo Valley or even for Kosovo, why not the Governments of Kosovo and Albania for the Presevo Valley?
I expect from the Kurti and Rama Governments institutional and state approaches, which end ad hoc and related actions on personal recognition or party preferences as has happened in the past. Once the institutional mechanisms and budget lines are built, then it is even easier to jointly design and implement plans and programs on political, economic and social priorities.
Insajderi.com: Will you have any requests for the institutions of the Albanian states for the citizens of Presevo living in Kosovo and Albania?
Ardita Sinani: That the state authorities in Prishtina and Tirana approve the legal framework and build institutional mechanisms for positive discrimination for the citizens of the Valley who live and work in Kosovo and Albania. That they have civil and equal rights, respectively have facilitative access to employment, education, health, social assistance, etc. It is unfortunate that we still have today citizens of the Valley who live without documentation in Kosovo.
Insajderi.com: What will be your approach to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic?
Ardita Sinani: Aleksandar Vucic is not just Seselj’s former right wing of the siege of Sarajevo with Ratko Mladic’s forces and Slobodan Milosevic’s former propaganda minister at the time of Serbia’s massive massacres in Kosovo. He is today the authoritarian authoritarian and neo-nationalist leader of Serbia who is pampered by international centers for geostrategic and geopolitical reasons. We neither can nor want to be his political partner. We will be in opposition to his regime. But at the same time, his government has special and general obligations to the Presevo Valley and the Albanians living in Serbia.
Vucic’s state party in recent years:
- Blocked the dialogue with the elected of the Valley.
- Blocked the implementation of 3 existing agreements for the integration of the Albanians of the Valley and the socio-economic development of the region
- Marginalized the government body for the Presevo Valley (Coordination Body)
- Expelled the Albanians from power in Medvedja
- It took control of the municipality of Presevo through the Serb List and its local Albanian partner
However, I managed to remove the influence of Vuiqiiq from the municipality of Presevo and make it impossible in Bujanovac. Today, coe with Bujanovac, Presevo is already one of the few municipalities in the country that is not under the control of the absolute and authoritarian power of Aleksandar Vucic.
The four years of the rule of the former mayor of Presevo, Shqiprim Arifi, proved that the path of non-confrontation and cooperation with Vucic’s government at the central level of power in Belgrade did not bring any benefit to Presevo. On the contrary, budget and factual discrimination by Belgrade increased.
We are the opposite. We have chosen the path of political confrontation and we will not stop demanding from the absolute power of Vu absolutiiq to fulfill his obligations and we will raise our heads as long as we are oppressed and discriminated against on national and civic grounds.
It is encouraging that, after several years of silence, the international community has finally begun to make official reports (Progress Report on Serbia in 2020, European Parliament Resolution and State Department Report on Human and Minority Rights in Serbia in 2020). ) criticized the treatment of national minorities by the Vuiqi. regime.