EU and US on the north: Immediate action to unconditionally de-escalate the situation, all dialogue commitments to be fully implemented without delay

The European Union and the United States of America are concerned about the continued tense situation in the north of Kosovo, the EU and the US embassy announced, adding that they welcome the assurances of the Pristina leadership confirming that no lists of citizens to be arrested or prosecuted for peaceful protests/barricades exist.

“We call on everyone to exercise maximum restraint, to take immediate action to unconditionally de-escalate the situation, and to refrain from provocations, threats, or intimidation,” they added.

We are working with President Vucic and Prime Minister Kurti to find a political solution in order to defuse the tensions and agree on the way forward in the interest of stability, safety, and well-being of all local communities, the EU and the US embassy announced in a joint statement.

“We welcome the assurances of the leadership of Kosovo confirming that no lists of Kosovo Serb citizens to be arrested or prosecuted for peaceful protests/barricades exist. At the same time, rule of law must be respected, and any form of violence is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

The United States of America will support EULEX’s work. While EULEX, in line with its mandate, will continue to “closely monitor all investigations” and subsequent proceedings to promote respect for human rights.

“This includes, in particular, fair trial guarantees, as well as protection and equal treatment for members of non-majority communities in Kosovo,” they added.

“We also expect Kosovo and Serbia to return to fostering an environment conducive to reconciliation, regional stability, and cooperation for the benefit of their citizens. All Dialogue obligations must be fully implemented without delay.”

The joint statement by the EU and US facilitators arrived almost at the same time as KFOR’s announcement that Serbian Army units have not acquired authorization from KFOR to move and train in the administrative boundary line, while KSF’s deployment to the north requires prior concurrence from KFOR.

On the same day, the former Kosovo policeman Dejan Pantic was released from custody and placed under house arrest. Pantic’s release was immediately met with harsh criticism from the top Kosovo officials and the ruling party in Pristina, as well as part of the media.

While the Serbian side hailed the decision, Pristina expressed astonishment over the fact that a judge placed a person accused of terrorism under house arrest, as the pressure on the court mounts.

The Kosovo Judicial Council immediately reacted, expressing concern over Kurti’s statement. Judges are independent, interference tendencies are unacceptable, the court said. Addressing the matter of disclosure of the judge’s name, i.e. the Kosovo Prime Minister’s request to learn his identity, the Kosovo Judicial Council underlined: „His name is the judge of the Republic of Kosovo.“

Nineteen days ago, local Serbs installed several barricades in the north following the arrest of Dejan Pantic. They specified Pantic’s release as one of the three conditions for the barricades to be removed.



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