APPEAL TO PRESERVE PEACE AND RESOLVE ALL CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES THROUGH DIALOGUE
Due to the situation in which the representatives of the Kosovo institutions insist that all citizens in the North of Kosovo re-register their vehicles on RKS registration plates and the attitude of the vast majority of citizens of Serbian nationality to replace their existing registration plates, we are facing a volatile crisis that may lead to a serious disruption of public order and peace, especially in the case of an attempt by the police to seize vehicles (with old plates). The escalation of this crisis would not benefit to anyone and would precipitously jeopardize efforts of citizens in this area to live in peace and respect, regardless of ethnicity.
As the Bishop of Raška-Prizren (Serbian Orthodox Church), I take this opportunity with my clergy to appeal to Kosovo institutions to accept the unanimous proposal of the European Union mission in Kosovo, the ambassadors of the Quint countries and the advice of the US Special Envoy for the Western Balkans, Mr. Escobar to avoid any kind of confrontation over registration plates and that this issue be resolved through a dialogue between the competent parties with international support within the next 10 months, in accordance with the earlier agreements in Brussels or other models that are agreed upon in the dialogue.
We also appeal to all citizens in the North of Kosovo and Metohija to maintain peace, restraint and composure and to struggle for their rights in a dignified and Christian manner, without giving any excuse to those who would like to provoke or cause violence in any way and thus endanger lives, health and property of the people in this region.
We expect a responsible, wise and decisive approach from the international representatives that would help to solve this issue in the process of dialogue and with respect for the rights and freedoms of all citizens.
We pray to the Lord the Peacemaker that peace and readiness for dialogue will be preserved in these region in accordance with all the principles that exist in democratic societies, and by no means with demonstration and use of force, threats or, God forbid, endangering people’s lives.
BISHOP TEODOSIJE OF RAŠKA – PRIZREN
Serbian Orthodox Church