Kosovo Bishop Warns Not to Hand Jihadists a Victory
By Sherrie Gossett
A leading Serbian Orthodox bishop, visiting the U.S. on a mission of "peace and understanding," has warned the international community against granting independence to Kosovo, saying such a move would hand a victory to radical Muslims and their jihadist supporters.
Kosovo's independence from Serbia would also mean "a virtual sentence of extinction" for minority Serbs in the province, according to Dr. Artemije Radosavljevic, the bishop of the Serbian cities of Raska and Prizren.
He met with Cybercast News Service during a recent 20-day tour of the U.S. to discuss the fate of the troubled province, which is formally known as Kosovo and Metohija. This month, international talks are set to begin regarding Kosovo's final status.
Kosovo, which is part of the sovereign country of Serbia and Montenegro, has been a U.N. protectorate since North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces bombed Yugoslavia between March and May of 1999 to compel the Serb-dominated government of Slobodan Milosovic to withdraw its forces from Kosovo.
The NATO bombings were launched in response to an alleged genocide being conducted against Kosovar Albanians by the Serbs. But when the bombing campaign ended, ethnic cleansing allegedly took place with Albanians, who are predominantly Muslim, targeting Christian Serbs and other minorities such as Turks, Roma (gypsies), Ashkali and Muslim Slavs.
The violence, including rape, murder, torture and the burning of villages, was witnessed and documented in hundreds of pages of United Nations (U.N.), NATO Kosovo Force (KFOR) and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) documents.
"Detaching Kosovo from democratic Serbia would mean a virtual sentence of extinction for my people in the province -- the larger part of my diocese -- who continue to face unremitting violence from jihad terrorist and criminal elements that dominate the Albanian Muslim leadership," Dr. Artemije said.
The ethnic cleansing that followed the NATO campaign has prompted an exodus of approximately 240,000 Serbs and minorities from the region.
Related Article: Has Kosovo been liberated or turned into a terrorism-breeding ground by the US?