Albanians protest in New York: Serbia cannot rule Kosovo

Albanians protesting in New York, Mark Gjonaj speaking
 Albanians protesting in New York, Mark Gjonaj speaking
 In New York, dozens of Albanians from Albania, Kosovo, and the Albanian territories, gathered in a rally - to protest, against the pressure being put on Kosovo for the agreement with Serbia, about the so-called "Franco-German" plan.

Protesters gathered on Thursday, March 16, in front of the European Union building in New York, just two days before they meet in Ohrid in a trilateral meeting, Vučić, Kurti & EU, where it is expected to discuss the EU Proposal for normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia, Diaspora Shqiptare reports.

The protest was soon joined by Albanian Associations from the Tri-Shteshi area, representatives of political parties and organizations, distinguished activists, artists, journalists, businessmen, and Albanian students from American schools, who protested for more than two hours against the conditions in talks between Serbia and Kosovo, regarding the so-called association of Serbian municipalities in Kosovo (Zajednica).

The Chairman of the Diaspora Coordinating Council, Mr. Mark Gjonaj, who led the protest, during his speech invited the Albanians to support Kosovo during the negotiations of the plan proposed by the European Union for normalization between Kosovo and Serbia, calling the Kosovo issue unfinished.

Gjonaj also called under the motto together for the future of Kosovo, to protect its integrity and sovereignty.

Albanians protest in New York: Serbia cannot rule Kosovo
Albanians protesting in New York 
"Kosovo is a free and independent country that must maintain its autonomy of self-government and rule. We cannot allow Serbia to intervene and rule in Kosovo," he said, addressing the participants with a megaphone.

"Kosovo's independence was paid for with blood, tears and decades of suffering at the brutal hands of Serbia. Citizens of Kosovo must control their own destiny without interference. "Serbia cannot rule Kosovo," he said.

Gani Shehu, former commander of the "Atlantic" brigade in the last war, in Kosovo, said that until recently it has been observed that international pressure has increased on Kosovo, and as we see that "with the formation of the association of municipalities with a Serbian majority , which contradicts the Constitution and laws of Kosovo, we have decided to protest in front of the EU headquarters in New York."

"The pressure should be on Serbia and not on Kosovo because Kosovo has made painful and continuous compromises", declared the former commander of the "Atlantic" battalion, while adding that the other concessions being demanded of Kosovo are excessive.

The message of this gathering, he emphasized, is that the institutions of Kosovo should be careful not to sign any document that contradicts the Constitution of Kosovo and its laws.

Gjek Gjonleka, former journalist of the Voice of America, showing why they gathered in front of the European Union delegation building in New York, points out that Albanians today are in a very delicate time regarding the issue of Kosovo, its independence.

"We have won every war, he said, but we have not won every time in diplomacy, where we "limp" the most. Kosovo, Gjonleka said today, reminds me of the Congress of Berlin and London where foreign chancellors decide on the fate of Albanians. Of course, Albania was torn apart, and this started one hundred and fifteen years ago, as early as the League of Prezeren."

Also today we are in a very delicate moment. After all, the world situation made it even more difficult for us Albanians, I would even say even more difficult than we think, said Mr. Gjonlekaj.

He further said that: "Europe is pampering Serbia at the expense of the Albanians, it is helping Serbia to become a member of the European Union and its entry into NATO." Which is probably very hard to believe, "but these are also Serbia's intentions. Just create a Zajdenica, using the opportunity and create a "Trojan Horse" in Kosovo," said Gjonleka.

Uk Lushi, activist in America, in his speech, said that the pressure only on Kosovo, from the EU and the USA, is a mistake. Kosovo is an investment of Albanians and America and it cannot be divided along ethnic lines. Nobody can divide Kosovo. Kosovo will be an ally of America.

After that, Shefki Mexhuani and Xheladin Zeneli, who were also part of the initiator group of this protest, greeted the protest strongly in solidarity with the demands.

Jack Kukaj also spoke during the protest, recalling Fishta's verses about Europe. Mark Grecaj, Ilir Bytyçi, etc. were against the Association of Kosovo.

The protesters, surrounded by police barricades in front of the building on 3rd Ave., carried Kosovo, Albanian and American flags while chanting and shouting slogans against the EU, which they said was pressuring Kosovo to accept the creation of the Association of Serbian municipalities, what they said would violate the Constitution of Kosovo and threaten its sovereignty and stability.

Through the banners, the protestors aimed to sensitize American opinion to the danger posed by the establishment of ethnic (Serbian) enclaves, namely the establishment of a Republika Srpska, for Kosovo and the entire region, paralleling it with the Republika Srpska of Bosnia.

"Where is the recognition of diplomas", "United against the Association" - "USA love Kosovo" - "Kosova NATO membership" - "Against Bosniakization of Kosovo", "Vučić=Putin", "Vučić wants another war in Europe", "No Association" and "No ethnic division", were some of the protest banners in New York.

The organizers of this protest finally said that another protest will be held at the beginning of April in front of the UN, in support of the KLA fighters in The Hague.

Uk Lushi, one of the organizers, said that: The April 1 protest will be against the violations of the Special Court so far, which have been done to the accused from Kosovo: "The protest will demand a quick and fair trial, therefore, " fer" of the accused like President Thaçi, and others. The protest would also ask the Special Court to prosecute Serbian criminals and move it to Pristina."
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