The White House finds itself on high alert, as the recent events unfolding in northern Kosovo have ignited concern within the Biden administration about Kosovo’s PM Albin Kurti. The decision to cancel Kosovo’s participation in the European Defender 23 military exercise confirmed by the US Ambassador Hovenier, as The Pavlovic Today reported on earlier this week, has amplified the gravity of the situation.
Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti, despite his media blitz on CNN International and Chuck Todd’s Meet the Press, has shown a lack of responsiveness to the United States’ demands to retreat and de-escalate.
According to The Pavlovic Today’s sources within the Biden administration, the situation since last Friday has been in a state of constant flux, and the United States finds its patience waning with Kurti.
It was against this backdrop that Principal Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer engaged in separate phone conversations with both Aleksandar Vucic and Albin Kurti on Friday afternoon.
During his conversation with Kurti, Finer vehemently urged Prime Minister Kurti to allow newly elected mayors, who secured mandates below 4%, to carry out their duties from alternative locations. Additionally, he called for the withdrawal of police forces from municipal buildings.
Regrettably, Kurti has displayed a notable lack of responsiveness to these two requests since last Friday, when, without any coordination with the United States and in direct contravention of the counsel provided, he dispatched Kosovo Police to seize control of municipal buildings.
In his dialogue with Finer, Kurti professed his willingness to work towards establishing conditions for new elections. However, it remains unclear how tensions will subside if he fails to meet the two requests set forth by the US government.
Turning his attention to the Serbian President Vucic, Finer expressed the United States’ deep concern regarding the “tense situation” in northern Kosovo. He implored the Serbian government to withdraw its armed forces stationed near the border and reduce their state of readiness. Furthermore, he appealed for the Serbian leadership to encourage peaceful protests within northern Kosovo.
Finer reiterated the United States’ unwavering expectation for both sides to re-engage in the EU-facilitated Dialogue and to faithfully implement the normalization agreement, which was painstakingly reached in Brussels and Ohrid earlier this year.
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