Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti has joined President Hashim Thaci in withdrawing from a White House meeting between Kosovo and Serbia leaders scheduled for June 27 following news of an indictment being filed against Thaci at the Specialist Chambers in the Hague.
Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti has announced that he will not attend the meeting between the leaders of Kosovo and Serbia scheduled for June 27 at the White House.
In a Tweet published early Thursday morning, Hoti stated that “as a result of the indictment submitted by the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office, I have to return to my country to deal with the situation,” adding that he has informed Richard Grenell, the US Special Envoy for the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, of his decision. Hoti is currently in Brussels, where he was scheduled to meet with EU officials before leaving for the US.
The Prime Minister’s announcement follows Kosovo President Hashim Thaci’s decision to cancel his trip to Washington DC after news broke that an indictment has been filed against him at the Kosovo Specialist Chambers. The indictment, which is yet to be confirmed by a pre-trial judge, is said to accuse Thaci of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and hold him criminally responsible for nearly 100 murders.
Grenell stated on Wednesday night that the White House meeting would still go ahead, with Hoti representing Kosovo and President Aleksandar Vucic representing Serbia. BIRN sent questions to Grenell’s office regarding whether the talks would still take place following Hoti’s withdrawal, but did not receive an answer by the time of publication.
Thaci had previously described the Washington summit as a historic opportunity to resolve discussions between Kosovo and Serbia. However, in recent days, Grenell had played down the political nature of the discussions, insisting that the US-led discussions would focus on economic relations between Kosovo and Serbia and the EU would handle the political side.
In a Facebook post published on Thursday morning, Isa Mustafa, the leader of Hoti’s party LDK, stated that there was no confusion within the party about whether the prime minister should go to Washington or not.
“Kosovo’s state delegation left for Washington with the best intentions, but it was split in half while it was on the plane,” Mustafa wrote. “In the current situation, before we meet with Vucic, we need to meet once again, to sit down together and talk, to find a way and a lasting solution. [We need] to ensure the functioning of all state institutions, because without their normal functioning, it is illusory that one can proceed
25 June 2020 - 09:43