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Commemoration on the on the occasion of March 17, 2004 – Pogrom in Kosovo and Metohija – 17 March 2024

President of the Republic of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, atended the marking of March 17, 2004 - Pogrom in Kosovo and Metohija. 
"When we gather on occasions like this, it is more like an obligation. We almost never agreed on what we should do in the future", said the president. When twenty years have passed since the crime, and without justice for the victims and punishment for the criminals, the question arises - what do we have left after all? What should we say to ourselves, to the world, and above all to the Serbs from Kosovo and Metohija, who experienced a pogrom on March 17, 2004, when ten of them were killed, almost 1,000 were injured, 4,000 were permanently evicted from their homes, while 900 of their houses were destroyed, and 35 churches and monasteries were damaged and destroyed. I'm not sure there are the right words for them, or at least I don't know them", said President Vučić, pointing out that there is something that no one can take away from them or us, and that is the right to the truth.  
"And as much as in today's world the truth is presented as something worn out, abused and worthless, I still believe that it is the light without which we would live in eternal darkness. It is necessary for us and we must not be silent even when they convince us that we do not know what we're talking about. And that's not spite, it's a refusal to live without light and to be forgotten", he said. He reminded of Schopenhauer's thoughts that the truth goes through three stages and that we are now in the second - the violent rejection of it.
"The principle of the inviolability of state borders was violated in Ukraine, but not in Serbia? The attack of 19 countries without the consent of the UN Security Council is not a violation of rights? The whole world jumps to defend Ukraine, they also mention the Third World War, and when Serbia is robbed of part of its territory, then nothing. And when we say all that, when we demand the same for Serbia, they attack us for being violent, for arming ourselves and for being an eternal threat. In a world without principles, the only rampart is the truth. It cannot be jumped over, and that's why they run away from it and don't want to accept it. We live in a world of violent seizure of the truth. Twenty years after the pogrom, we neither attacked nor threatened anyone, and we often remained silent. This does not mean that we will retreat, we will continue to tell the truth. The truth is that the pogrom only happens three years after the "democratic changes". Then terrible crimes occur, in the middle of the story standards before status. Allegedly, status is unknown. And the standards are that when they come out with a false story about three Albanian boys, who were allegedly driven to death by Serbs, and what they repeat today in Pristina, then there is a rapid transition from standard to status", President Vučić said. He added that what happened on March 17, 2004 was well organized and coordinated.  
"It was not the anger and rage of wonderful people who saw injustice. No, everything was well prepared and organized, so that they would get Ahtisaari's plan, the Vienna negotiations, and full independence," said President Vučić.
The president said that from 2008-2012, also in 2013 we lost a lot, because more than half of the world recognized the independence of Kosovo.
"We did not inherit a position in which we are the same, but a position in which Kosovo was already independent for most of the world. And no matter how painful the Brussels Agreement was, it gave us several years for accelerated progress and development, to show that we are a reliable partner. Nothing from the Brussels Agreement, which was Albania's obligation, was not fulfilled, because they did not even want to. It will soon be 12 years since the Brussels Agreement, but the Ohrid Agreement is mentioned, which we did not sign. They will not even discuss the CSM (Community of Serbian Municipalities), but our partners from the West will never say a word against them. This is their baby, which they rock in the cradle and which they will forever protect. What should we do when we see that neither their word nor their signature is worth anything - not Albanians, theirs was never even valid, but those who conducted themselves as honest negotiators," said President Vučić. Speaking about what we can do today, President Vučić pointed out that we expect to be told that something was imposed on us, not agreed upon.
"Say it is your will, not Serbia´s will and the Serbian people. You can carry out whatever actions and threats you want, but we will never accept the results of the pogrom from 2004, nor the independence of Kosovo, which will always be part of sovereign and independent Serbia. There are people who worry about the future and you cannot defeat them with threats. We love freedom more than anything and we will never let it be taken from us. I want to bow down with you all to the shadows of our heroes who fell guarding their homes and hearths, and I tell them that they did not fall in vain. We will know how to protect everything they did for their homeland. Long live Serbia, long live Kosovo and Metohija and our people!".


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