Monday, May 29, 2023

US and European countries call for “urgent” cooperation to achieve “political solution” in Kosovo

The governments of the United States, France, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom this Thursday called for “urgent” cooperation from Kosovo’s local communities to achieve a “political solution”, with local elections to be held under a complete boycott. After the Serbs are in a new episode of escalation of tensions that have dominated the region for almost a year and a half.

A joint statement reads, “We call on all participants to urgently collaborate among all stakeholders, including local communities, to deliver sustainable participatory representative democracy in these municipalities.”

In this sense, these countries have commented that “there should be no actions or initiatives – including by newly elected mayors and municipal assemblies – that are not at the service of the population or that could escalate tensions.”

“All parties should refrain from the use of force or actions that could escalate tensions or escalate conflict,” he said, adding that he supports an EU-facilitated dialogue to normalize relations between Kosovo and Serbia. .

The signatory countries refer to the elections held in northern Kosovo on 23 April, which voted for four mayors and two municipal assemblies. “After the exclusion of a significant part of the Serbian community, the results do not represent a long-term political solution for these municipalities,” he lamented.

Only 3.4 percent of the population cast their vote in local elections in the Kosovar Serb majority municipalities, which the population and its dominant party, the Serbian List, overwhelmingly boycotted. Electoral officials in Serbia and Kosovo agreed on their voter turnout figures, announcing only 1,557 ballots cast.

The election occurred precisely because of the institutional vacuum left by the Kosovo Serb mayors, who resigned from their posts to denounce a campaign of persecution by the Kosovo government, representative of the Kosovo Albanian population. The resignation was another episode in a September 2021 crisis over vehicle registration powers between Serbia and Kosovo that has worsened over the weeks.

Northern Kosovo thus became the scene of attacks on EU mission patrols, the arrest of former Kosovo Serb police officers and the building of barricades by the Kosovo Serb population, at the height of hostilities late last year.

This maneuver prompted Kosovo to deploy its forces along the northern border, a decision to which Belgrade responded with an almost unprecedented initiative: a request to NATO to deploy Serbian forces to the area, which never materialized.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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