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L'Eglise Serbe cherche du soutien auprès des Russes et des Américains après l'arrestation de Djuric


Serbia will do everything possible to preserve Kosovo and the Serbian presence in the region, and is hoping for assistance from Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church in particular, His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia stated in a recent interview with RIA-Novosti.

His Holiness’ statement comes amidst a highly tense situation in Kosovo following the sudden arrest and deportation of Marko Đurić, the director of the Serbian Government Office for Kosovo and Metohija, as well as journalists and unarmed citizens.

Srpska Lista (Serbian List), the main Serbian minority party in Kosovo's government, then announced that it was withdrawing from the governing coalition to form an association of Serb-dominated municipalities in Kosovo, reports Al Jazeera. Meanwhile, Kosovo President Hashim Thaci denounced Đurić’s entrance into Kosovo, saying he had been banned and warned, and the Serbian List's withdrawal as a “provocation” by Serbia.

The Serbian Orthodox bishops serving in America also addressed a letter to U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan, calling on him to denounce the “police brutality” and to make clear to Kosovan authorities that “the United States will never condone beatings of peaceful citizens, journalists, and public officials.”

Responding to a question about the situation of Serbs a decade after the unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo Albanians, Pat. Irinej stated that Kosovo “is a big problem and a big wound for the Serbian people… Serbian without Kosovo is like a person without a heart,” explaining that many of Serbia’s most historical and holy sites are located in Kosovo.

According to the patriarch, Serbia is fighting hard to preserve Kosovo as part of the country, and “In particular, we are hoping on Russia, which occupies a leading position in the world. Our forces are small, and we really need help from brotherly Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church.”

The patriarch recalled that Russia has always provided assistance to Serbia in the most difficult periods of its history. He added that those who are against Serbia for remaining by Russia’s side disparage it with the title “Little Russia,” but, the patriarch said, “We have nothing against it—we’re even glad they call us that.”

Meanwhile, His Grace Bishop Longin of New Gracanica and Midwestern America, His Grace Bishop Maxim of Western America, and His Grace Bishop Irinej of Eastern America wrote to Deputy Secretary Sullivan on March 27, noting that “In a provocative show of force, the police force stormed a meeting between citizens and government officials fully-armed and with shock bombs. Over 34 people were seriously injured requiring hospitalization, while Marko Djuric was unlawfully arrested, beaten, and paraded through Pristina before jeering crowds.”

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