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American senators: Kosovo and Serbia reduce tensions, failure endangers relations with the USA
A group of American senators, led by Senator Jeanne Shaheen, said on Wednesday that the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, and the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, should work to reduce tensions in the north of Kosovo. The senators warned that failure to do so could damage both countries' relations with the United States.
"As American legislators, across party lines, we are increasingly concerned about the fragile security situation in the north of Kosovo. Today, we reiterate that there is broad bipartisan support in the US Senate for the European Union's efforts, in close coordination with the United States, to broker a way forward. But, for a solution to be sustainable, both Prime Minister Kurti and President Vucic should immediately listen to the international calls to escalate the situation, to restore the trust of the citizens in the local institutions in the north and to commit to the implementation of Agreement on the path to normalization by establishing the Association of municipalities with a Serbian majority in Kosovo", the statement says.
The senators called on leaders to choose peace, progress and the security of their citizens as they consider their next steps.
"Failure to reduce tensions would trigger consequential action from the West, which has worked diligently to support Kosovo and Serbia on the way forward, and risk unnecessarily weakening our bilateral relations. This is not in anyone's interest. We call on Kosovo and Serbia to work in good faith with the European Union and the United States to find a solution without delay," said the joint statement of Senator Shaheen with her colleagues Chris Murphy, Chris Van Hollen, Ben Cardin, Thom Tillis and Pete Ricketts.
The tensions followed the decision of the government in Pristina to send the Albanian mayors who emerged from the April 23 elections, which were boycotted by the Serbian parties, to municipal offices in the north.
The United States and the European Union said that reducing tensions, holding new elections in the four Serbian-majority municipalities in the north and returning to the negotiating table are their main demands./ VOA