Pendarovski: The organizers of the meetings in Tetovo and Chair must be sanctioned

Zastava sa mapom velike Albanije u Tetovu
Source: Twitter/Meto Koloski

The President of North Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski, today requested criminal prosecution of the organizers of public gatherings in Tetovo and Chair in Skopje, which were attended by the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, for promoting the greater-state chauvinist idea.

"The highlighting of provocative nationalist iconography that promotes greater-state chauvinist ideas represents the inflaming of ethnic hatred and intolerance, which unequivocally attacks the basic principles and values of the Framework Agreement, as well as the concept of Macedonia as a multi-ethnic state. The organizers of public gatherings in Tetovo and Chair must be legally sanctioned for violating legal provisions regarding the use of the state flag and anthem and community flags and symbols, by completely ignoring the state symbols. In this direction, I call on the competent authorities to complete the prescribed procedures as soon as possible," Pendarovski pointed out in a post on Facebook.

The way of implementing the idea of renaming the street in the municipality of Chair, he believes, is in contradiction with the principle of democratic debate and respect for the historical heritage of all communities in the country.

"In that sense, I expect the competent inspection services to check whether the principle of the double majority was respected when making the decision, which should also include the votes of communities that are not the majority in that municipality," Pendarovski said.

During Kurti's visit to North Macedonia, a flag with a map of "Greater Albania" was seen at the meeting in Tetovo, while at the same time, that visit was not accompanied by the display of the flag of North Macedonia.

That is why the cabinet of the Prime Minister of North Macedonia, Dimitar Kovacevski, reacted on Saturday evening, from which they said that Kurti's visit had been private, as well as that displaying flags that were not national flags was against the protocols and laws for organizing events in the presence of foreign statesmen.

"At the same time, the type of iconography observed at the event in the presence of a high representative of a foreign country is inappropriate and illegal in a UN member state and a NATO member state, and in this regard, we inform you that the Sector of Foreign Affairs Tetovo is taking measures to identify the perpetrators and fully clarify the case," they stated from Kovacevski's office, with a message that the fact that the Macedonian national anthem had not been sung and the Macedonian national flag had not been displayed at the demonstration organized on the territory of North Macedonia was reprehensible.

They added that they had contacted the Ambassador of Kosovo in North Macedonia regarding the iconography that had been used.