TIRANA – There is no secret plan for land swaps between Kosovo and Serbia, as some have speculated, a joint Statement of Special Presidential Envoy Richard Grenell, Ambassador Philip Kosnett, and Special Representative for the Western Balkans Matthew Palmer on Kosovo has said.
“Special Presidential Envoy Richard Grenell has never seen nor discussed such a plan. The US Government’s focus on supporting the recent agreements to re-establish air, rail, and highway connections between Kosovo and Serbia aims to improve the economy and create economic momentum. We believe this momentum will give new energy to a dialogue process that would lead to mutual recognition,” they said in the statement released by US State Department last Thursday.
The US senior diplomats urge Pristina’s leaders to follow the Constitution of the country and the rule of law in this time of uncertainty.
The government led by PM Albin Kurti was overthrown last Wednesday by a no-confidence motion initiated by the junior party in the governing coalition, the Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK. With 82 votes in favour, 34 against, and 1 abstention, the government was toppled following a series of disputes over important decisions between the main governing Vetevendosje party, to which Kurti belongs, and the LDK.
In the US statement it is pledged the commitment to work with any government formed through the constitutional process in Kosovo. “In addition, we continue to urge Kosovo’s leaders to lift the tariffs completely. We believe the tariffs are harming the people of Kosovo by hindering regional cooperation against COVID-19 – including by delaying the entry into Kosovo of needed supplies – and hindering economic growth,” it was stated.
In the meantime, PM Kurti reveled in a post on his FB account on Friday that he had never promised Mr. Grenell that he would lift the 100 percent tariff on Serbia without reciprocity. However, he said as quoted by Express on Friday that it was to be greeted the statement of Ambassador Grenell that the latter was against the exchange of territories. /argumentum.al