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Fri. January 27, 2023
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IA-Forum Interview: Mr. Sadri Ferati
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International Affairs Forum: From rioting in Belgrade and northern Kosovo by Serbians and strong statements from Serbia and Russia, there has been strong response since the declaration of independence. What steps must be taken to ensure sustainable peaceful coexistence in the region, specifically with Serbia/Serbians? Moreover, to quell fears from countries such as Russia and Spain and work towards gaining their acknowledgement of an independent Kosovo? Mr. Sadri Ferati: This is being done through implementation of the Ahtisaari package. Also through support of pro-European democratic powers in Serbia from contacts and in cooperation with important factions who represent the Serbian nationality, those that are willing to lead with real options for Serb citizens. IA-Forum: What is the feeling among the people in Kosovo about the newly formed state and the negative response from some sectors? Mr. Ferati: There is an extraordinary good feeling among all citizens of Albanian and non-Albanian nationality, with the exception of Serbians who reject the independence of Kosova. There are a number of Serbians who are ready to accept the new reality, but because of concern for their safety, they do not have courage to express themselves and don’t work in the direction of achieving it. An example of this is the freezing of functions that ministers and deputy ministers in the Government of Kosova provide. IA-Forum: Do you think NATO was prepared well enough for fallout from the Kosovar declaration of independence? Mr. Ferati: Yes, NATO has had a strategy to protect the stability and tranquility in Kosova. NATO, together with international powers and Kosova Police Service (KPS), are dedicated to face any eventual challenges in the path of independent Kosova. IA-Forum: Protection of Serbian human rights within Kosovo has been a concern to many. What steps does the Kosovar government intend to implement to ensure their safety? Mr. Ferati: The Government of Kosova is creating an environment of understanding and co-operation between citizens of all nationalities. It is committed to the rule of law, freedom of movement, protection of human rights based on the international conventions, and ensuring rights for national, religious, cultural and education identity, with the special emphasis to Serb minorities. The creation of new municipalities, in accordance with the Plan of President Ahtisaari, which has already appeared as a document in the Kosova institutions, shows the seriousness of the approach of the institutions of Kosova towards the accommodation of minorities. IA-Forum: What are the plans for development in Kosovo? Mr. Ferati: We are working on the organization of a donors’ conference and we plan that the effects will be felt by citizens in each municipality, through creation of better conditions for business and life. The resolution of Kosova status has opened the path towards a sustainable economic development. IA-Forum: .How will independence bring foreign investment to Kosovo? Are their companies/groups that have agreed to, or talked to Kosovar leaders, about providing foreign investment? Mr. Ferati: Independence creates safety for foreign investments and there is a high expression of interest. Because of its human resources and need for production capacities Kosova will be an attractive place for foreign investments. IA-Forum: Kosovo has been regarded as an area with corruption and organized crime problems. How do you think the Kosovar government can take steps to stop this and alleviate fears from foreign investors, NGOs, and other organizations? Mr. Ferati: Kosova is building efficient legislation and supporting mechanisms, according to European standards, to fight corruption and organized crime. The effects of these actions will be apparent. The institutions and citizens are conscious of fighting these forms, especially since our aspiration is to join the EU. Mr. Sadri Ferati is Kosova Minister of Local Government Administration.

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