European Western Balkans

Chairs of foreign affairs committees, MPs and MEPs urge US, UK and EU to reconsider approach to Kosovo and Serbia

Vučić-Kurti meeting in Brussels, 18 August 2022; Photo: FoNet

WASHINGTON / LONDON / BRUSSELS – Chairs of the parliamentary committees for foreign affairs of the United Kingdom, United States, Germany, and eight other countries, as well as dozens of MPs and MEPs, sent joint letters to the European Union High Representative Josep Borrell, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly urging them to reconsider the collective approach of their countries to Kosovo-Serbia relations.

The signatories asked for balance and proportionality in dealing with Kosovo and Serbia. Noting that Kosovo has faced significant repercussions following the efforts by Mayors to enter their offices in Northern Kosovo in May, they said that the lack of pressure placed on Serbia following the arbitrary detention of three Kosovo police officers and failure to hold to account those responsible for attacks on KFOR, “highlights the current lack of even-handedness in addressing such flash points”.

The letter states that the current approach towards Kosovo and Serbia is not working and asked the international community not to accept a “Belgrade-centered policy for the Balkans”.

“We also ask that you consider adopting a policy of deterrence diplomacy to prevent further aggravation of the security and political situation in the north of Kosovo, with balance and proportionality guiding any statements and any punishments or sanctions issued and that those who do uphold the rule of law and democracy are not scolded”, the letter concludes.

The signatories include Alicia Kearns, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the UK Parliament, Bob Menendez, Chair of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Michael Roth, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of German Bundestag, together with their counterparts from the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Ireland, Lithuania, Letonia, Estonia and Iceland. Additional 41 MPs from multiple countries and Members of the European Parliament signed the letter.

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