Thaci's planned Montenegro lecture canceledSource: Tanjug
PODGORICA -- Kosovo Deputy PM Hashim Thaci's lecture, scheduled for Thursday in Montenegro's capital Podgorica, has been canceled for security reasons.
The daily Dnevne Novine quoted unnamed sources who said it was assessed that the lecture would have been "a good opportunity for some citizens to express their dissatisfaction with Thaci's visit, so the idea has been abandoned."
The visit will go ahead - Thaci's first official to Montenegro - and is causing many reactions, with refugee associations announcing protest over the deprivation of rights of the Montenegrins and Serbs who still live in Kosovo, and the inability of those forced to leave to return to their homes.
SPC Metropolitan Amfilohije on Tuesday, during the celebration of the Orthodox New Year, asked the Montenegrin authorities to rescind their recognition of the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo, and called for those present to also pray for the 30,000 refugees from Kosovo who live in Montenegro to be provided with "rebuilt homes."
"For our Montenegrin chiefs to rebuild their homes. And to, at the same time, investigate in international courts who committed genocide in Kosovo," he said.
The metropolitan then stated that Thaci was "one of the main actors of the genocide in Kosovo and Metohija," and should be in the Hague Tribunal.
Thaci, meanwhile, told the Podgorica daily Pobjeda that the constitution of Kosovo would be changed in order to include Montenegrins and Croats as national minorities, and added:
"The Montenegrin national minority is a historic part of Kosovo, in the same way the Albanian minority is of Montenegro. The fact is, also, that many Montenegrins in Kosovo have declared themselves as Serbs and we today do not have the exact number of ethnic Montenegrins. But, regardless of the real number of Montenegrins, we took the position of being magnanimous toward the historic presence of the Montenegrin minority and guaranteeing them equal status."
Asked to comment on the announced protests against his visit, Thaci said that "there are some people who are still hostages of the past in all former Yugoslav republics in the Balkans, who are burdened by nationalist topics and use the language of hate."
Kosovo, he said, is "one of the most successful projects of western military interventions in modern history," and is also making constant progress "as a state."
The local media in Podgorica reported that the visit has "deeply divided Montenegrin citizens," with the Alliance of the Displaced in Montenegro announcing protests, while the Association of Montenegrins of Kosovo welcomed it.