Patriarch Irinej: Serbia will never give up on Kosovo

Serbia will never give Kosovo and Metohija away, said Irinej, the (45th) Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) in an interview. The Patriarch has also said that “the time is still not right” for the visit of Pope Francis to Serbia.

“Kosovo can be stolen and occupied as is the case today. But Serbia can never say “we gave it away” (on Kosovo), because when one gives something as a present, he loses it forever; and when something is forcefully stolen, it could be returned in the same way”, Irinej told Hram TV.

In his words, “the state (Serbia) makes significant efforts to try maintain Kosovo as part of Serbia and to find a political solution that would satisfy both sides”.

“We cannot imagine Serbia without Kosovo and Metohija. That (Kosovo) is the old Serbia which has given birth to the other part of country. Kosovo represents our history, culture, spirituality and it is full of our holy orthodox values”, the Patriarch said.

According to him, “the time is still not right” for the visit of Pope Francis to Serbia. “We (the Serbian Orthodox Church) gives its consent to the Pope’s visit. Him visiting Serbia would be good for our people, taking into account the relations with our closest neighbors – the Croats”, Irinej said.

He explained that Serbia wants to improve its relations with Croatia and that the Pope’s visit “would certainly help a lot” in that sense. However, Irinej added: “But just because of these relations throughout the history… We believe that the time has not come yet (for the Pope to come)”, the Patriarch underlined,

(IBNA, 04.01.2018)

http://www.balkaneu.com/kosovo-could-be-forcefully-returned-to-serbia-patriarch-says/

 

This post is also available in: Italiano

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