On Thursday, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić met with Serbian Patriarch Irinej Gavrilović “to discuss his proposal for a final settlement for Kosovo”. Nikolić, who often meets with the SPC head, said that his recently announced platform “would go towards what Serbia can accept as a final solution, without threatening its sovereignty and territorial integrity”. After a meeting that lasted almost two hours, President Nikolić told reporters that he and the Holy Synod have “very close views” about the issue, saying, “We talked about Kosovo and Metohija, the fate of our nation, our territory, the SPC, security in Kosovo and Metohija, and about how I see a solution”.
He noted that these are still “only discussions and consultations” and that there’s no “formal document” to present to the President of the Government, and, then, to the public. Nikolić said, “I presented some of my thoughts and I didn’t meet disapproval or disagreement from the Holy Synod. So, we’re very close in our thinking about what it should look like in the end”. Asked when the public would see the document, he said that he’d work “closely and intensively” to agree on this with President of the Government Aleksandar Vučić, “because such a document requires general agreement, or at least consent from the assembly, for what the government would propose on behalf of the President. It isn’t something that we should argue about, it’s a document in which we must find solutions that the government would support, as the body that needs to implement it and that’s negotiating in Brussels”. He called for patience, saying that we must wait for the meeting between Belgrade and Priština in Brussels, scheduled for 9 February, “to attempt to continue where (the dialogue) came to a halt a while ago. It seems to me that in that time we’ve all had time to think about what’s happening and what awaits us, and I think that we understand that procrastination and wasting time isn’t working in favour of Serbia”.
Nikolić said the other topics covered today included problems in the functioning of the Church, its relationship with state authorities, and the issue of restitution, saying, “The church has concerns about developments in Kosovo and Metohija, and I think it’s proper for His Holiness and the Synod to want to be informed about what’s being done, how far we’ve come”. Nikolić added that, as a member of the SPC, he’s anxious to know the views of the Synod, whilst exchanging thoughts with the Patriarch “helps make many things clearer. Now, I think that the need to meet more often is very manifest, at a time when we might face great temptations in solving major Serbian issues”.
22 January 2015