PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Kosovo and Albania announced a boycott of the Nobel Prize in Literature ceremony on Tuesday in protest at the award given to Austrian writer Peter Handke, which the two countries link to the war in the former Yugoslavia.Handke He opposed NATO’s bombing of Serbia in the Kosovo war of the late 1990s and spoke in 2006 at the funeral of Serbian autocratic leader Slobodan Milosevic.
Kosovo was part of Serbia until 1999 when the military alliance intervened to detain Milosevic.Kosovo Foreign Minister Behgjet Pacolli instructed the ambassador in Sweden to «boycott the ceremony,» adding that «a writer who supported Milosevic and his genocide in Bosnia and Kosovo do not deserve the Nobel Prize.» In solidarity with the Kosovo Albanians, Albania’s ambassador to Sweden will not attend Tuesday’s Nobel ceremony, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday. The country will boycott the ceremony because of Handke’s support for «Slobodan Milosevic, the ‘Butcher of the Balkans’, who led so many mass atrocities during the bloody collapse of the former Yugoslavia.» The interim Albanian foreign minister, Gent Cakaj, who was born in Kosovo, tweeted that «the justification of the atrocities of war during the breakup of Yugoslavia should not be rewarded.» For Milazim Krasniqi, resident of Hoce e Vogel, a small town 80 kilometers (50 miles) southwest of the capital Pristina where more than 40 people were killed during the war, said it is unthinkable that «Milosevic’s friend and sympathizer receives the award in the 21st century.» In total, more than 10,000 people were killed or killed in the 1998-1999 war. A 78-day NATO air campaign ended the Serbian government in Kosovo, and the United Nations ruled the province until 2008 when Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia, which Belgrade still does not recognize.» It is intolerable and unacceptable to promote famous writers with this kind of award, writers who argue crimes in the region,» said Shkelzen Maliqi, an analyst from Pristina.
The Koha Ditore newspaper published a caricature of Milosevic applauding Handke with the Nobel.
The view was different for Kosovo’s Serb minority.» Whatever he wrote about the Serbs, he wrote it well and tremendously,» said Dimitrie Dimitric, a Serb at Hoce e Madhe, near Hoce e Vogel. «Those who gave it to him (the prize) are not insensitive.» Near Hoce e Madhe were posters that said «Congratulations to our Nobel!» Tensions between Kosovo and Serbia have worsened in recent times. The EU-mediated dialogue that began in 2011 has been stalled since last year after Kosovo imposed an import tax of 100% on all Serbian and Bosnian products, despite international calls to suspend the measure. Kosovo insists on full recognition of its quality as a state, which is unacceptable to Serbia.