January 12, 2012
Serbian interior Minister Ivica Dacic says that “any individual can travel from Kosovo to central Serbia as a citizen granted they provide the necessary documents”.
Belgrade, SERBIA – by Vedat Xhymshiti
| Thursday, January 12, 2012 | The IndependenT NewsweeK |
Kosovo’s Minister of Diaspora has been denied entry into Serbia, where he was headed to meet local Albanian leaders.
|Southeastern Kosovo-Serbia border point.
(ZPress Photo/Vedat Xhymshiti)
Minister Ibrahim Makolli, who was heading to the mainly ethnic Albanian Presevo Valley area of southern Serbia on Thursday, was turned back by the Serbian authorities at the Konculj border crossing.
Makolli, who had not sought any permission from the authorities in Belgrade, told Balkan Insight that he was not given any reason why he was refused entry.
“They didn’t let me in. Nor did they give me any reason why I’m not allowed to enter Serbia,” the minister explained, adding that he later found out from Riza Halimi, the only Albanian lawmaker in Serbia’s Parliament, what had happened.
However, Dacic says they cannot cross the administrative line as politicians, he said, and added this was based on an agreement on freedom of movement “adopted in Brussels”.
The Serbian Interior Ministry (MUP) has not been informed about the visit of Ibrahim Makolli, Dacic stated attending the Christmas reception in the SPC Patriarchy in Belgrade on Thursday, and recalled that “anyone can come to central Serbia as a citizen but not as ‘minister for the diaspora’.”
Makolli serves in this capacity in the Kosovo Albanian government in Pristina. He was headed for the region in southern Serbia inhabited by ethnic Albanians, but was turned back from the administrative line on Thursday.
Dacic today underscored that the Serbian MUP needs to respect all agreements Belgrade and Pristina reached in Brussels, but the municipality of Bujanovac has no authority to invite politicians over and the procedure needs to be respected.
In a statement for reporters, Dacic mentioned the recent visit of Serbian President Boris Tadic and Minister for Kosovo Goran Bogdanovic to the Decani Monastery, and underscored that “nobody condemned the attack on a line of vehicles including the cars of the president and the minister, or the attack on the bus transporting Serbs”.
Last weekend, members of the radical ethnic Albanian Self-Determination Movement attacked the vehicles transporting the president and the minister.
Ibrahim Makolli announced on Wednesday that he would visit municipalities Bujanovac and Presevo valley. On Thursday, he is allowed entry at the Koncul checkpoint on the administrative line between Kosovo and central Serbia.
source: B92 | Balkan insight