Archbishop of Pec and
Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovci
Serbian Patriarch Pavle
Kralja Petra I br. 5
It was with much pleasure that I read the statement by the Holy Bishops Synod regarding the demand that Mr Milosevic resign in the interests of the people. I warmly congratulate you and the bishops on this correct demand and position.
At this time I am deeply concerned at the exodus of the Serbs from Kosovo and Metohija and hope that KFOR will reinforce its stated objective to protect all citizens regardless of religion or ethnic origin and to secure the protection of the Serbian monasteries and all holy shrines that including Muslim and Roman Catholic places of worship. It would be a tragedy if the Serbs were to abandon the homes in which they lived for centuries, it is important that the Serbian priests and monks will stay with their congregations. Our people need them today more than ever before. Bishop Artemije of Raska and Prizren sets in this an excellent example to all.
On my part I continue as always to demand that the West recognize the rights of Serbs equally as those of the Albanians and all citizens. Both the Serbs and the Albanians are experiencing a tragedy and for the sake of humanity both must be helped. The destruction of homes is horrendous and the suffering of the Albanian citizens and now the Serbian citizens is of profound concern. So death and pain has been afflicted on all citizens over so many years and now we must make a big effort to rebuild people’s lives and create a future for all. It will be painful and hard, but we can do it minus the negative elements of all sides.
Pointing out again my view that the Holy Synod is absolutely right in pronouncing the fact that it is in the interest of the people that Mr Milosevic and his regime should resign to make way for a government of national salvation. As you are aware, I have advocated that view for years. I have said that there will be no peace in our region until Serbia is at peace with itself having thrown away the dictatorship and finally got on with the urgently needed democratic reforms for once and all. The internal problems are enormous, the country has been destroyed and people traumatised. As regards external relations, the country has been totally isolated and expelled from the international community. The Serbian people do not deserve this and there is no hope that things will improve as long as the present regime is in power. The formation of a government of national salvation with a designated mandate is the only way forward. It will have my full support. We cannot afford to lose time since the preservation of Montenegro and Serbia in Yugoslavia and the prevention any further catastrophes such as Vojvodina or Sandjak is of the utmost importance to all citizens.
Your Holiness, would you please remember as always in your prayers all those who have lost their lives, loved ones and suffered dreadfully regardless of religion or ethnic origin. I wish you good health and to continue to be the wise shepherd of the Serbian Orthodox Church for many years to come.
Please accept expressions of my deep respect.
London, 17 June 1999