After a meeting with QUINT ambassadors, Kosovo's PM, Albin Kurti, has proposed a five-point plan to de-escalate the situation in northern Kosovo.
The first point of the proposal emphasizes the strengthening of the rule of law in the four municipalities in northern Kosovo. This will be achieved by identifying, prosecuting, and ensuring fair trials for all members of criminal groups who have attacked the police, NATO personnel, and journalists. Kurti has invited EULEX to directly monitor the judicial processes related to these trials.
The second point proposes the immediate withdrawal of violent groups from Kosovo’s territory and the prohibition of any criminal acts against Kosovo’s institutions. Additionally, based on the principle of proportionality, the presence of police forces in three municipal buildings in northern Kosovo will be reduced according to the circumstances.
The third point highlights that the Kosovo Police, KFOR, and EULEX will conduct joint security assessments every 15 days. This measure aims to guarantee a safe environment without risks for everyone and to support law enforcement measures.
The fourth point, which is a key demand echoed by the EU, suggests holding early elections. According to the proposal, the Kosovo government will coordinate with all actors and announce early elections in the four municipalities in the north.
As for the final point, according to Kurti, Kosovo and Serbia should immediately return to the Brussels-mediated dialogue. The European Union ensures a fair and balanced sequencing plan for the implementation of the Basic Agreement signed in Brussels on February 27th. Additionally, Kurti proposed a high-level meeting between him and Serbian president during this week.
However, Kurti mentioned in the conference that he has not yet received a response from EU High Representative Josep Borrell regarding the possibility of holding a high-level dialogue meeting in Brussels this week.
“I haven’t received an answer from Borrell yet because he was at the airport. I believe we will get an answer soon. I am constructive, and that’s why I expressed readiness,” Kurti said.
The Prime Minister also mentioned that he had a phone call with the EU High Representative, Josep Borrell, on Monday. He has been in constant communication with the American Ambassador in Kosovo, Jeffrey Hovenier, in the afternoon.
On the other hand, in the last week, EU envoy on the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, Miroslav Lajcak, and the US envoy for the Western Balkans, Gabriel Escobar, made three requests to PM Kurti. These requests included the normalization of the situation in northern Kosovo, the resumption of dialogue, and the holding of new elections.
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 ethnic-Albanian mayors were elected in the predominantly Serbian-majority municipalities in northern Kosovo in April, following the resignation of local Serbs from all public institutions in the north of Kosovo, as a protest against new regulation of Kosovo for Serbian car plates in December. 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.
13 June 2023 - 15:19
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