Former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger, Former UN Ambassador John Bolton and Former Assistant Secretary of Defense Peter Rodman: 'American Policy on Kosovo Must be Reexamined Without Delay' Kosovo Will Not Become Independent, Serbs Will Not Leave, Serbia Will

Defend Its Territory and Its Citizens: His Grace, Bishop ARTEMIJE of Ras

and Prizren







    WASHINGTON, Jan. 31 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following today's
 publication of a Washington Times commentary
 (http://www.washingtontimes.com/article/20080131/COMMENTARY/288472699/1012)
 written by former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger, former UN
 Ambassador John Bolton and former Assistant Secretary of Defense Peter
 Rodman urging the Bush Administration to withhold recognition of a
 unilateral declaration of Kosovo independence, His Grace, Bishop Artemije
 of Ras and Prizren issued the following statement prior to his visit to
 Washington to meet with Administration and Congressional officials and
 policymakers:
 
 
 
     As I begin my latest mission to Washington, my country is being
 subjected to heightened threats from the government of the United States
 with respect to the future of the Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohija.
 Having just returned from Berlin and consultations with Members of the
 Bundestag, the Administration, and think tanks, NGOs, and media, it is
 clear that America's European allies are increasingly concerned about the
 consequences of the course Washington is trying to impose on them. The U.S.
 response has been to step up the pressure.
 
 
 
     For example, the press in Slovenia, currently chairing the European
 Union, recently revealed American officials' diktat to supposedly
 independent countries. In an account confirmed by Slovenian official
 sources, we hear American diplomats commanding the timing of a planned
 unilateral declaration of independence by the Albanian Muslim
 administration in Pristina and its recognition by the U.S. and some other
 governments. Even exposed is the shameful intention to trigger the crisis
 on the Lord's Day to thwart Russia in convening an emergency session of the
 Security Council.
 
 
 
     Threats have already been issued that after an independence declaration
 and recognition, force would be used to shut down so-called "parallel
 structures" in Serbian enclaves -- in reality the legitimate institutions
 of our state -- including the Mitrovica office of the Ministry for Kosovo
 and Metohija. Such actions, with expected attacks on Serbian citizens,
 would constitute a direct assault on the Serbian state and the Serbian
 nation. While it would be inappropriate to disclose Serbia's specific
 response, we will defend our territory and our people as would any other
 democratic country. Russia and other friendly countries are prepared to
 assist us.
 
 
 
     Should Washington and its followers make good on their current threats
 to recognize Kosovo, Serbia would never accept it. Not only Russia but many
 other countries, especially those outside of Europe, would reject
 recognition. Kosovo would never become a member of the United Nations. We
 would regard the international presence in Kosovo, including the mission
 now being considered by the EU, as an occupation force. We Serbs have
 suffered many occupations in the past and triumphed over them. If necessary
 we would survive this one as well. Despite any intensification of the
 terror to which we Christians have been subjected since 1999, my flock in
 Kosovo has no intention of leaving their homes.
 
 
 
     I do not welcome having to direct these critical words at the United
 States. Serbs have always regarded America as a friend and continue to do
 so. Americans and Serbs were allies in both World Wars. We are not the ones
 who are pursuing a confrontation today. But it is impossible for America to
 profess friendship with Serbia while demanding the amputation of the most
 precious part of our homeland.
 
 
 
     Despite the mistakes made so far, I am convinced that there is still a
 chance reason will prevail and the disastrous path laid before us will be
 averted. Today three highly respected former U.S. officials published a
 thoughtful and constructive analysis of the looming injury to American
 national interests:
 
 
 
     "We believe that an imposed settlement of the Kosovo question and
 seeking to partition Serbia's sovereign territory without its consent is
 not in the interest of the United States. The blithe assumption of American
 policy -- that the mere passage of nine years of relative quiet would be
 enough to lull Serbia and Russia into reversing their positions on a
 conflict that goes back centuries -- has proven to be naive in the extreme.
 We believe that American policy on Kosovo must be reexamined without delay,
 and we urge the Bush Administration to make it clear that pending the
 results of such reexamination it would withhold recognition of a Kosovo
 independence declaration and discourage Kosovo's Albanians from taking that
 step."
 
 
 
     Secretary Lawrence Eagleburger, Ambassador John Bolton, and Assistant
 Secretary Peter Rodman conclude: "As with thorny questions elsewhere,
 viable and enduring settlements should result from negotiation and
 compromise. Such an outcome has been undermined by an American promise to
 the Kosovo Albanians that their demands will be satisfied if they remain
 adamant and no agreement is reached with Belgrade." I believe that
 negotiations must continue until a mutually acceptable solution can be
 found to allow us and our Albanian neighbors to live together in peace.
 Honest talks, without ultimatums or guaranteed results for either side,
 with no outcome barred from discussion, can still bear fruit. I ask all
 Americans of good will to ask their leaders in Washington to choose this
 path.
 
 
 
     For more information, please visit the American Council for Kosovo's
 Web site at http://www.savekosovo.org.
 
 
 
     The American Council for Kosovo is an activity of Squire Sanders Public
 Advocacy, LLC, and Global Strategic Communications Group, which are
 registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act as agents for the
 Serbian National Council of Kosovo and Metohija, under the spiritual
 guidance of His Grace, Bishop ARTEMIJE of Ras and Prizren. Additional
 information with respect to this matter is on file with the Foreign Agents
 Registration Unit of the Department of Justice in Washington DC.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

SOURCE American Council for Kosovo

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