How „waking up next to Albanians“ turned into the „seizure“ of Kosovo

Hil ambasador SAD
FOTO: Printscreen/TV Happy

„When Serbs wake up, they’ll see that Albanians have seized Kosovo for themselves“ – several Belgrade-based media outlets quoted the US ambassador in Belgrade, Christopher Hill, as saying – referring to Hill’s recent interview for Happy TV. The ambassador’s statement, however, was not accurately reported.

In his interview for Happy TV, the US ambassador spoke about the war in Ukraine, energy security, the relationship between the US and Serbia, Serbia’s path to the EU, as well as the Kosovo issue.

Part of this interview was published on the Youtube  channel „Jutarnji Program TV Happy“, while the full interview was broadcast this morning.

In the early afternoon, the news about the US ambassador’s interview was first published by the Tanjug news agency. In the meantime, several Belgrade-based portals and tabloids picked up the news piece, including InsajderNovostiRTVPolitika.

Several Belgrade media also reported this news citing RTV as the primary source. The media in question include Kosovo OnlineDanasKurirBlicSrbija Danas. also reported the news, citing Blic as its source, and the piece was also picked up by B92.

All of these media initially reported that Hill, when asked about the solution to the Kosovo issue, said that „whether in this century or the next, ‘when Serbs wake up they’ll see that the Albanians have seized Kosovo for themselves’.“

While these media outlets accurately transmitted the first part of Hill’s sentence, this is not the case with the second part.

What Hill actually said

In the interview, the US ambassador made no mention that Albanians “seized” Kosovo, but actually that the Serbs „will wake up to see that the Albanians are in the south“.

„Whether in this century or the next, when Serbs wake up they will see the Kosovo Albanians in the south, and the same goes for the Kosovo Albanians. That’s why we hope that normalization will be achieved in the meantime so that they can continue with the things that are important for ordinary people,” Hill said.

RTV, Portal Danas, as well as Kosovo Online soon updated the news, replacing the incorrect quote with the accurate one.

Hill also said that the Kosovo issue is difficult for Serbia, expressing the belief there should be an approach directed toward solving that issue.

At the same time, he underlined that the US supports the efforts of the European Union as a mediator in the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina.

„I believe that Western countries are asking Serbia and Kosovo to stick to the dialogue process and try to reduce tensions to create room for mutual talks, which would lead to the normalization of relations.“

Hill reiterated that there are not many similarities between the events in Kosovo in 1999 and the current situation in Ukraine.

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