On the Murder of Oliver Ivanovic

Flowers, candles and a picture of Kosovo Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic, at the scene of his shooting in Mitrovica, Kosovo, January 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Bojan Slavkovic)

Statement on the Murder of Oliver Ivanovic

As delivered by Political Counselor Gregory Macris
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
January 18, 2018

The United States condemns in the strongest possible manner the murder of Oliver Ivanović. We join the leaders of the Republic of Kosovo, including the president and prime minister, in publicly condemning the murder and calling for justice. We also extend our deepest condolences to Mr. Ivanović’s family and friends.

Mr. Chair, the United States calls on the relevant Republic of Kosovo institutions to investigate this incident swiftly and professionally, and bring the perpetrators to justice, in accordance with Dialogue agreements on the judiciary and the police.

We urge all parties to avoid dangerous rhetoric and recommit themselves to normalizing relations and improving the lives of the citizens of Kosovo and Serbia. The United States believes that, despite this setback, it is important that the EU-facilitated Dialogue talks in Brussels continue. We look forward to the negotiating teams reconvening as soon as possible.

Our Organization has a deeply vested interest in ensuring adherence to the rule of law in the Republic of Kosovo, which hosts the OSCE’s largest field mission. The presence of Kosovo officials in this Permanent Council would provide a forum for participating States to raise our concerns directly with the country’s leaders, and enable us to hear their responses directly.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.