The Serbian Orthodox Church’s top body said on Friday that Kosovo is an integral part of Serbia, rejecting its recognition or demarcation.
A statement issued after the sitting of the Holy Synod said that “any change of status which leads either to the recognition of Kosovo as an independent state or any kind of territorial division, including demarcation” is unacceptable.
It added that any solution of that kind would lead to the migration of the remaining Serbs from Albanian-majority areas of Kosovo and would “inflict immeasurable damage on our spiritual and cultural heritage”.
Commenting on the Church statement, President Aleksandar Vucic said he did not expect anything else. He added he had no problem with that, but that he would continue telling the truth.
“Kosovo is an integral part of the sovereign territory of Serbia and is defined as such by the Constitution and UN Security Council resolution 1244. The sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia, including Kosovo, despite the illegally proclaimed so-called state of Kosovo, is recognized by a huge majority of mankind, including Russia and China, five European Union countries, the OSCE, UNESCO and other important international organizations,” the statement said.
The statement said that this does not mean that the bishops support a frozen conflict but that their views are a call to „all political players to continue the dialogue without pressure and blackmail to resolve the question of protecting the human rights of a people, the freedom of the Church to live and work, institutional protection and security for holy sites, the unobstructed return of the displaced and free access to property which has been seized illegally“.
„We support wholeheartedly every resposible dialogue which contributes to the rule of law and reconiciliation between all the people living in Kosovo as Serbia‘s southern province,“ the Church statement said.