Joint statement on the recent developments in the north of Kosovo

Polish soldiers, part of the peacekeeping mission in Kosovo KFOR, guard a street in the town of Zvecan, northern Kosovo. (AP Photo/Bojan Slavkovic)

Joint statement on the recent developments in the north of Kosovo

As delivered by Chargé d ’Affairs Courtney Austrian
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
June 1, 2023

Mr. Chair,

I am making this statement in my national capacity and also on behalf of France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

We call on all parties to take immediate actions to de-escalate tensions.  We condemn the unacceptable violence against NATO-led KFOR troops, law enforcement, and journalists.

The Government of Kosovo’s decision to force access to municipal buildings sharply and unnecessarily escalated tensions.  Prime Minister Kurti and his government should ensure that elected mayors carry out their transitional duties from alternate locations outside municipal buildings and withdraw police forces from municipal buildings.  President Vucic and the Government of Serbia should lower the security status of Serbian Armed Forces and urge Kosovo Serbs to halt challenges to KFOR and refrain from further violence.

Both Kosovo and Serbia should immediately recommit to engaging in the EU-facilitated Dialogue to normalize relations.