The United States government has, since Friday May 28, issued two requests to Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti, urging him to withdraw the police force from municipal buildings and have mayors operate from alternative locations. However, Kurti has remained unresponsive, prompting the National Security Council (NSC) to get involved. Deputy National Security Advisor for the Biden Administration, Jon Finer, reiterated the request to Kurti, but it did not move the needle.
On Monday, the British parliament made the same request to PM Kurti adding its weight to the scales of persuasion, but the situation remains at a stalemate.
In an attempt to shed light on the matter, The Pavlovic Today approached Vedant Patel, the Principal Deputy Spokesman of the State Department, on Monday, seeking information on the potential measures being considered by the US to ensure that PM Kurti heeds their advice.
“This is something that we gonna continue to remain deeply engaged on and raised directly with both governments,” Patel reassured The Pavlovic Today.
“The government of Kosovo’s decision to force access to municipal buildings sharply and unnecessary escalated tensions, and Prime Minister Kurti and his government should ensure that elected mayors carry out their transitional duties from alternate locations and withdraw police forces from the vicinity,” Patel reiterated the stance of the US.
“We remain deeply engaged on this issue. As you said, Principal Deputy National Security Adviser John Finer spoke to PM Kurti and President Vucic. Counselor Derek Chollet, spoke with President Vucic and DAS Escobar from our Europe Bureau is in Pristina and Belgrade this week with the EU Special Representative so we will continue to remain deeply engaged.”
Blinken’s Deputy Press Secretary retired that the US condemns the “unacceptable violence” against the NATO led KFOR troops, law enforcement and journalists.
To de-escalate the tensions in northern Kosovo, the US government implores all parties involved to take “immediate action.”
Patel emphasized that President Vucic and the Government of Serbia should lower the security status of their armed forces and urge Kosovo Serbs to cease challenging KFOR and refrain from further acts of violence.