Kosovo marks the 25th anniversary of the beginning of the war
In Kosovo, on Sunday, the three-day demonstrations started in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the battle of the village of Prekaz in the municipality of Skenderaj, which also marked the beginning of the almost two-year war between the Kosovo Liberation Army and Serbian forces, which ended in June 1999 with NATO intervention. On March 5, 1998, Serbian forces surrounded the Jashari family in Prekaz. During several days of fighting, more than 50 family members lost their lives, including Adem Jashari, whom Albanians know as the legendary commander of the former Kosovo Liberation Army.
The leaders of Kosovo highly appreciated the sacrifice of all those who fell for freedom, while emphasizing that this sacrifice serves today as a strength for Kosovo’s journey towards its Euro-Atlantic goals.
“All of us jointly guided by the memory and respect for our glorious history, together with our international allies are building, developing and strengthening our capacities to be fully effective and contributing to the defense of the values that unite us, peace, freedom and democracy instead of anywhere in the world. Alongside the allied forces, we were and will be in humanitarian missions, missions of peace and stability for the near future of our Republic, even under the NATO flag,” said the President of Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani.
Prime Minister Albin Kurti said that the state of Kosovo is the institutional implementation of the ideals of the fighters and those who fell for freedom.
“It was precisely this war that not only freed us from the conqueror and occupier and then brought us the state and the Republic, but also what created space for us to live in freedom and opened the way for us to build democratic and stable institutions. Thus, from an oppressed people and from an occupied country in the last century, in this century we have become a modern society that respects human freedoms and rights, building a democratic state that is becoming stronger and stronger every day. more progressive,” he said.
Ten years after the battle of Prekazi, Kosovo declared its independence which is recognized by over 100 countries of the world including the United States and the main countries of the European Union, but Serbia continues to oppose it with the support of Russia.
A quarter of a century after the events in Prekaz, Kosovo and Serbia have been involved in a process of negotiations for the normalization of relations between them. Last week, Prime Minister Kurti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said yes to a Western plan for this issue, which does not include mutual recognition, although it is required that the parties respect each other’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The envoy of the European Union, Miroslav Lajcak, is expected to visit both countries to discuss the ways of implementing the plan before the next meeting between Prime Minister Kurti and President Vucic is organized on March 18 in Ohrid, North Macedonia.