Bishop Teodosije receives NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in Visoki Decani Monastery

Vicar Bishop Teodosije of Lipljan and Hierachal deputy of the Diocese of Raska-Prizren received today in the Visoki Decani Monastery Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO Secretary General, and group of ten ambassadors of the countries, members of the NATO alliance. In one-hour talk Bishop Teodosije talked about hard security situation in which still are Kosovo Serbs and sanctuaries of the SOC on the territory of Kosovo and Metohija. Particularly was emphasized a concern about series of attacks on the Serbian returnees in Metohija village of Zac, which also showed that for the Serbian returnees in Kosovo and Metohija still there in no minimum of liberty and warranty for normal and safe life.

Bishop particularly conveyed the concern regarding the attacks on the returnees and violent cutting off of Serbian mobile operators which also expressed the Holy Assembly of Bishops on the occasion its recent session, saying that these procedures, which were unfortunately committed with the active participation of the Kosovo police force which was securing the destruction of the telecommunication equipment, even more linger the life of the Serbian people and call into question its future in the region. The problems of the returnees and the Church about property rights was also stressed, pointing out that half of land of the Decani monastery was still not recognized by the local authorities, and because of that they had received threats last year by the extremist groups. Bishop also pointed out that the Church was by its nature ready for a dialogue with all people of good will, and the international community should remain strongly present in Kosovo and Metohija.

NATO Secretary General  expressed the position of the NATO alliance that KFOR could not forever remain in Kosovo but that all future decisions on ways of the protection of the Serbian Orthodox sanctuaries will be issued after a very careful analysis and in direct dialogue with representatives of the community and the Church. He stressed NATO's commitment to create better living conditions for all in Kosovo and that is crucial for representatives of ethnic communities in Kosovo to be more active in each dialogue in order to solve urgent problems.

Source: Diocese of Raska-Prizren