Photo: Courtesy of PM Office.

EU and US Envoys with Requests for Kosovo Government

Amidst the tense situation in the north of the country, the US and EU ambassadors shared three requests with PM Kurti.

EU envoy Miroslav Lajcak and the US envoy for the Western Balkans, Gabriel Escobar, met with PM Albin Kurti to discuss the normalization of the situation in northern Kosovo.

“We presented a proposal on behalf of the international community that contains three elements. We had long, sincere, and difficult talks,” Lajcak state, following the trilateral meeting on Monday evening.

The three requests made by Lajcak and Escobar, were the normalization of the situation in northern Kosovo, the resumption of dialogue, and the holding of new elections.

Escobar stated that he has come to Kosovo as a strong supporter of the state of Kosovo and his only request is for the international community to be heard.

“We want the best for Kosovo, for it to achieve all its aspirations. We are the biggest supporters of your security, independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. I only seek to be heard,” he said.

He stated that he respects the Government of Kosovo and the Constitutional structure of Kosovo, but he is also trying to find a formula for “harmony among ethnic groups.”

Escobar condemned the attack on KFOR soldiers in Zvecan by violent Serbian protesters.

The envoys’ visit comes after a week of high tensions in northern Kosovo. The US and the EU have continuously called for de-escalation of the situation.

PM Albin Kurti emphasized that an immediate cessation of attacks by violent extremists and criminal groups against local and international security forces, as well as journalists, is necessary for the way forward.

“Candidates and voters in the new elections should participate without fear and threats,” said Kurti and invited Brussels and Washington to call for an end to violence and criminal prosecution.

Since May 26th, local Serbs from the northern municipalities of Zubin Potok, Zvecan, and Leposavic have gathered and protested against the appointment of new mayors in municipal institutions.

Four Albanian mayors were elected in the predominantly Serbian-majority municipalities in northern Kosovo. Apart from the mayor of North Mitrovica, who took the oath in the municipal building, the other three mayors did so in schools and offices of the municipal community.

Currently, NATO’s peacekeeping troops, KFOR, are ensuring the maintenance of order in these municipalities in Kosovo.

However, last week, there were also clashes between protesters and KFOR troops, resulting in dozens of injured KFOR soldiers and protesters.

There were attacks on the media and journalists as well. A couple of journalists were attacked and stopped from reporting during last week, and several media vehicles were damaged and destroyed.

06/06/2023 - 14:25

06 June 2023 - 14:25

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