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USA appeals to Pristina: The Government of Kosovo to move forward with the Association

USA appeals to Pristina: The Government of Kosovo to move forward with the

The American ambassador in Pristina, Jeff Hovenier, said that his country believes that it is urgent for Kosovo to move forward with sending to the Constitutional Court a draft statute for the Association of Serb-majority municipalities.

During an interview for the public broadcaster of Kosovo, Hovenier said that Kosovo has many friends who want to see the state part of the Council of Europe organization and to show commitment to minority rights and human rights.

"One of the most obvious ways to do this, which we have all recommended, is to take this important step of sending this EU draft of the Association of municipalities with a Serbian majority to the Constitutional Court. It seems to us that this is an important thing for Kosovo, without referring to the Council of Europe, because it will help to ensure proper protection for the Serbian ethnic community in Kosovo, but it also unlocks and opens this journey in which we want to see Kosovo ", Hovenier said.

Kosovo failed to be included in the agenda of the meeting of the Committee of Ministers in the Council of Europe held in mid-May in Strasbourg, as the condition was imposed on the state to move forward with the establishment of the Association of municipalities with a Serbian majority.

A day before the meeting in Strasbourg, the chief diplomat of Kosovo, Donika Gërvalla, through a letter informed the Council of Europe that Kosovo intends to draw up a draft statute for the Association and send it to the Constituent Assembly by the end of May, in exchange for the state's acceptance in this human rights organization.

However, Gërvalla's letter stated that the draft statute would be inspired by a draft presented some time ago by the German organization Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, and not the draft statute that was presented to Kosovo and Serbia by the EU in October of passed.

Hovenier said that as far as he understands, this offer of Gërvalla is no longer valid, while regarding what draft statute Kosovo should send to the Constituent Assembly, the American ambassador said:

"Regarding the question of which draft and how it is sent further, this is an important issue and it is undoubtedly a sovereign choice of the Government of Kosovo as to what statute it chooses to draft and how and what it will seek to approve or send to the Constitutional Court. But, I will say that the draft offered by the European Union - this draft statute for the Association of municipalities with a Serbian majority - offers a number of unique and important advantages".

Last year, the European Union, as mediator of the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, presented the parties with a draft statute for the Association, which was accepted in principle.

Last year, Kosovo and Serbia reached an agreement for the normalization of relations, which provides for the provision of a level of self-management of the Serbian community and the implementation of all agreements reached in the dialogue.

Within the dialogue mediated by the EU, Kosovo and Serbia have reached two agreements on the Association: in 2013 and 2015.

However, the Constitutional Court said in 2015 that the Agreement on the principles for establishing the Association was not in full harmony with the highest legal act of the state. Harmonization, according to the Constitution, can be done through by-laws.

However, Kosovo has not yet taken steps towards its establishment.

The Government of Kosovo has expressed itself against a mono-ethnic association./ REL

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