Ms Biserko, as well as some other participants in the conference who represented similar views and who for years have concerned themselves with human rights issues and the democratization of society, for the last four years has determinedly ignored the suffering of the Serb, Roma and other non-Albanian peoples in Kosovo and Metohija, advocating at the same time the creation of an independent and ethnically pure Albanian state with the full knowledge that no one would be able to live in such a creation except Kosovo Albanians themselves. Events in the past four years have clearly shown the Serbs and the whole world the vision of society held by leading Albanian politicians and intellectuals. During their visits to Pristina, the aforementioned "fighters for human rights and democracy" have been giving irresponsible statements before Albanian audiences, demonstrating the extreme lack of moral and professional credibility and belying their claim that they are objective analysts. By taking the side of only one ethnic community and its extremist political goals, they are de facto participating in the legalization of the ethnic terror being carried out in Kosovo and Metohija, tragically, under the UN colors. Through such activities, Ms Biserko is deeply compromising the Helsinki Committee and presenting it as an office of the Albanian political lobby in Serbia.
The Europe to which Serbia and Montenegro, as the most multiethnic state in the region of the former Yugoslavia, aspires is not a community of ethnically clean states and societies where citizens are deprived of basic human rights because of their ethnic and religious origins. This is the kind of retrograde society that has been built for the past years in Kosovo and Metohija, despite the international presence and activities of numerous international human rights organizations, including the Helsinki Committee. That is why Europe is prepared to accept our state, not as a conglomerate of unstable, mini banana-republics but as a serious democratic state where there is room for all citizens regardless of their origin, culture or religion. Insisting on the secession of Kosovo and Metohija on the pretext of the right to self-determination, therefore, does not represent the path to Europe in the 21st century and is in direct contradiction with the idea of a united Europe where borders are becoming an anachronism, and integration, cooperation and respect for different traditions a higher value resting on the foundations of the European civilization and culture. The creation of Romanticist nation-states belongs to the 19th century, and it is truly absurd for those who declare themselves to be advocates of European culture to represent obscure ideas from the ancient past, which directly led to the bloody unraveling of the Yugoslav drama in the 1990s. Ms Biserko, Mr Srdja Popovic and professor Olga Popovic-Obradovic appear to be forgetting that Serbian Government today is no longer the same Government as during the regime of Slobodan Milosevic. Even though faced with serious difficulties and challenges, the majority of the citizens of Serbia and Montenegro share a vision of a modern European society, which at the same time will not neglect traditional values, especially the spiritual values of Christianity, which represent one of the main historical, moral and cultural foundations of the contemporary Serbian state and the identity of the majority of the citizens of Serbia and Montenegro.
Serbia's goal is not the occupation of Kosovo and Metohija, nor terror against the ethnic Albanians, but the creation of conditions whereby all citizens of our southern Province could equally work on achieving their rights while protecting their ethnic and cultural identity within the framework of a decentralized and democratic Serbian state. No rewriting of borders along ethnic lines, which is what Kosovo Albanians are in fact striving for, is required to achieve such a goal because it would inevitably lead to an entire series of attempts to rewrite other Balkan borders as well, and thus irrevocably destroy the remaining multiethnic and multicultural heritage in this part of Europe. At the same time, this would be a dangerous precedent jeopardizing the basic idea of European integration. Of course, those Serbs who are dreaming of Kosovo's return to the time of the administration that existed under Milosevic have also lost touch with reality and, together with the Albanians who intend to find a "final solution" for the Serbs, represent the last of the Balkan dinosaurs.
The Serbian Orthodox Church therefore strongly supports not only the preservation of the state union of Serbia and Montenegro in its present international borders but also the broadest autonomy for Kosovo and Metohija within the framework of Serbia, which would also make it possible for the Albanian people together with other national communities to more easily achieve the necessary economic, cultural and security standards necessary to join Europe. Kosovo as an independent state would be in constant political conflict with Serbia and Montenegro and Macedonia, would become the cultural, political and economic black hole of Europe and would represent the defeat of years of international efforts reaffirming that state borders do not necessarily have to correspond to ethnic ones. It is interesting that Ms Biserko and her mentors who at one time determinedly supported a unified and multiethnic Bosnia-Hercegovina are now insisting on the division of multiethnic Serbia. If the Kosovo Albanians are allowed to secede, would it not be logical to give the Serbs and Croats of Bosnia-Hercegovina, where the numbers of victims and suffering was greater than in Kosovo and Metohija, and where multiethnic wounds are much deeper and more painful, the same right?
Also, the secession of Kosovo and Metohija would not only lead to the complete disappearance of the Serb people and the destruction of the greatest Orthodox Christian shrines in the region but serve as an overture to the process of ethnic and territorial unification of the Albanians, the revision of the London Conference of 1913, and to new wars, victims and suffering of innocent civilians. We can only sincerely hope that this is not the vision of Ms Biserko and others when they so casually and self-assuredly advocate the secession of Kosovo and Metohija without considering the consequences of such an act.
The Diocese of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija, which for the past years has been crucified with its remaining faithful and is enduring daily terror by Albanian extremists and the indifference of international representatives, is deeply hurt by these irresponsible views on the part of Ms Biserko. The Church in this region has been one of the most vocal critics of the former regime, as well as a relentless opponent of Albanian extremism and terrorism. Members of all national communities, including Muslim Albanians, found refuge in some of the Serbian monasteries during the conflict. However, despite this stance the Serbian Orthodox Church in this region is exposed to systematic terror and destruction of precious medieval cultural and historical monuments that had previously survived five centuries of Ottoman occupation. Ideologists of an ethnically pure Kosovo are doing everything possible not only to expel the remaining Serb population but to completely revise the cultural and spiritual identity of the Province, which represents a treasury of the most beautiful and valuable Orthodox Christian monuments of the Middle Ages. However, these obvious facts apparently do not concern Ms Biserko and company, who sit in their comfortable Belgrade offices and attempt to tailor the fate of people whose misfortunes and suffering they have never tried to understand. The Serbian Orthodox Church is deeply convinced that the citizens of Serbia, regardless of their ethnic or religious origin, will know how to recognize that the statements of the aforementioned participants in the conference on Kosovo standards and status do not represent logical and constructive views of responsible men and women, of intellectuals, but ill-intentioned ideas of certain global political circles who seek to send Serbia back into the 19th century and transform her into an insignificant factor in the political and cultural region of the Balkans.