Mitrovica, March - Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Local Government in the Government of the Republic of Kosovo, Slobodan Petrovic, with his associates visited Mitrovica on Thursday.
Petrovic was welcomed by the Mayor of this municipality, Avni Kastrati, and his associates and discussed the general situation in the municipality and of possibilities for mutual cooperation.
Mayor Kastrati said that a specific situation prevails in this municipality that is different from situations in other municipalities of Kosovo which requires a different approach and a much greater commitment to mobilize all factors and local institutions, central and international, in order to fully stabilize and resolve multiple problems that have accumulated.
He informed the guest about sustained efforts that the municipality and its leaders have been doing for the integration of Serbs in the institutions of local government and in the general mainstream of the municipality. Unfortunately little has been achieved and he asked for the help and support of Minister Rashiq and the Ministry he runs. Mayor Kastrati mentioned the support of the Government of Kosovo regarding the integration of Serbs into the newly created reality, emphasizing that last year the Kosovo Government allocated five million euros for various developmental projects in the north of the municipality, but the Serbs were not interested in cooperation. Furthermore, he said that Serbs have not shown interest in using means such as the Agency for Regional Development of North, the agency that helps the development of this region.
In addition, Kastrati said to minister Petrovic that there are problems regarding the free movement of citizens, because in the northern part incidents occur consistently hampering this movement, especially to non-Serbs, while in the southern part there are no such problems and everyone there, regardless of ethnicity move freely.
Kastrati mentioned the non-functioning of law in the north, where vehicles circulate without plates, where the courts do not function, where parallel structures are operating, a phenomenon that should be stopped without hesitation.
On the other hand, Minister Petrovic, after saying distinguished words about Mayor Kastrati and appraising him as one who has the capacity to run the municipality of Mitrovica and willing to solve the problems of the citizens of all ethnic backgrounds, said to be a good connoisseur of the general situation in Mitrovica municipality.
For the improvement of this situation he said that he and his Ministry will do their best with a special commitment, not only giving priority to issues that come from the municipality, but also orienting to Mitrovica donations that are not few, from various international organizations which usually consult him.
Regarding the integration of Serbs in the north, Petrovic said that as for this issue he will be very determined and dedicated, but the results may not come in one or two months. He said that the Kosovo government and governments of foreign countries and various international agencies are interested in investing in Mitrovica and in the integration of Serbs and other communities by offering their donations.
“There have been and there will be bids for capital projects for the northern part, which would improve the quality of life for citizens. We will offer an alternative to the citizens there and this alternative is the approach by which to solve the vital problems of the people, investments and implementation of various projects and infrastructure development. We acted like this in Gracanica and other Serb areas and the results are not missing,” Petrovic said. Regarding the rule of law in the North, Petrovic said that EULEX should be performing its mandate in a dedicated and determined manner in this part of the country and then the rest will become easier.
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