London, 13 December 2021- The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora of the Republic of Kosovo, Ms Donika Gërvalla, today participated in the Summit of Foreign Ministers of the Western Balkans being held in London, Great Britain, organized by Secretary Liz Truss and Minister Wendy Morton.
The Kosovo Chief Diplomat, thanking the United Kingdom for its continued support, stressed Kosovo's commitment to European values, with special emphasis on the fight against organized crime and corruption.
Gërvalla said that, despite the progress that has been made since the formation of the new government, Kosovo has faced threats from Serbia.
The Chief Diplomat pointed out that, a few weeks ago, Serbia sent armoured vehicles, troops and fighter jets to the border with Kosovo.
However, the Kosovo Chief Diplomat said that Kosovo is not the only one that is being threatened, but that there is an escalation of rhetoric from Serbia, even towards some other countries in the region.
Gërvalla also called the position of Serbian Minister Vulin regarding the Reçak massacre a pure lie.
Below you can find the full speech of Minister Gërvalla.
Honourable Secretary Truss,
Honourable Excellences and guests,
I am truly honoured to attend this meeting as a guest of the United Kingdom, who became the saviour of my people in the darkest moment of our history; we will never forget this.
We are gathered here today at a crucial moment.
My country, Kosovo, has made a major turnaround after the elections earlier this year, becoming the leader of democracy and rule of law in the Balkans. Since the new government took office, the Kosovo Police has initiated a total of 1,401 cases related to serious crimes, including corruption and organized crime. We are extremely committed to European values and we are reorganizing our country in the European way. This year we have seen a record increase of 10%, as well as an increase in tax returns and customs revenues. As a government, we have an extraordinary degree of approval.
When we mention these optimistic developments, we cannot close our eyes to reality in other areas.
Our northern neighbour, Serbia, threatened our country with war a few weeks ago, sending armoured vehicles, troops and even fighter jets to our border, while the Russian ambassador to Serbia joined the troops and welcomed this act of aggression.
Kosovo is not the only one being threatened. We are dealing with a systematic escalation of rhetoric, where, a fresh example that can be taken is the official praise given to war criminals like Ratko Mladić by a close ally of President Vučić, Minister Vulin, as well as his pure lie just a few days ago about one of the most cruel massacres in Kosovo, the Račak massacre, which had incited a rapid change in the West's attitude towards Kosovo.
All this is not happening by chance. The current Serbian leadership is systematically stepping up propaganda and hate speech as part of the government's program to attack the West and NATO for the humanitarian intervention and to barricade Serbia behind an aggressive approach, again, against its neighbours.
In this regard, the Government of Serbia has formally adopted a strategy which uses a reformulated version of the ideology of "Greater Serbia" which led to disaster in the Balkans in the 1990s. In 2021, a government official calls for a "Serbian world" and again Serbian nationalism states that all Serbs in the region should live under Serbian rule, as Mr Vulin expressed himself in the summer of this year in the presence of Mr Vučić.
Serbian nationalists are threatening Kosovo with war, provoking partition in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as they did in 1991, and trying to destabilize other countries internally. These are not isolated incidents; they are part of a systematic campaign to destabilize the region, undertaken by Russia and its representative Serbia. Just a few weeks ago, we were forced to expel two Russian diplomats from our country because they posed a threat to our national security.
We have reached a stage that is far more dangerous than some are aware or willing to see, at least in the EU. But we need prompt and immediate action, as well as clear communication with those who are threatening peace, not only in Ukraine but also in our region.
If we want to save the peace, we must act wisely and quickly. The United Kingdom will undoubtedly be on our side in this battle for stability and peace. And for that, we are really grateful. If we succeed, we will continue with what should be our main concern: cooperation for the benefit of our countries and our citizens.
Thank you very much.