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Minister Hoxhaj: Local elections in the north jeopardize the entire security structure in the Balkans

Rome, 28 mars 2012 – On the first day of his official visit to Italy, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo, Enver Hoxhaj, held a lecture in front of many students, professors and diplomats at the “La Sapienza” University in Rome.

The recent developments in Kosovo and the European integration dynamic were some of the points addressed by the lecture with a focus on human rights.

Explaining the long journey that the people of Kosovo took until the declaration of the independence, Minister Hoxhaj stressed that the expulsion of over one million Albanians, dozens of thousands of killed and ethnic cleansing intended a change in the demographic figures in Kosovo.

“Serbia never cared about the people of Kosovo. It was always interested in territory. This policy of ethnic cleansing was brought to an end by the NATO humanitarian intervention and this in turn brought peace, security and stability in the Balkans and in Europe,” said Minister Hoxhaj.

On this occasion, Minister Hoxhaj highly acknowledged the contribution of Italy in the state building process of Kosovo along its significant participation in military forces within KFOR.

“The declaration of the independence of Kosovo is above all a European success story,” said Hoxhaj.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo went on to speak about the rights of the minority communities in the Republic of Kosovo as stipulated by the Ahtisaari package
“The Republic of Kosovo has managed over the four-year period since the declaration of independence to accommodate communities both at the local and the central level. Today, the minority communities in Kosovo have more advanced rights than any other community in Europe,” said Hoxhaj.

Talking about Belgrade’s announcement to hold local elections in the three northernmost municipalities of Kosovo, Minister Hoxhaj said that holding of these elections would jeopardize the security situation in the Balkans.
“There must be no Serbian elections in the north. This would jeopardize the entire security structures, peace and stability in the Balkans,” said Hoxhaj.

Minister Hoxhaj also spoke about the European perspective of the Republic of Kosovo pointing out that the launch of the feasibility study marks the most important step towards the accomplishment of the aspirations of over two million Kosovars to become part of the European Union.

At the “La Sapienza” University, Minister Enver Hoxhaj also had a meeting with Antonello Biagini, deputy rector for international relations and many professors of this university and talked about advancing of cooperation in the field of education.

In the afternoon, Minister Hoxhaj will meet the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Giulio Terzi.