Statement on the Situation in Kosovo

US soldiers serving in NATO-led peacekeeping force KFOR, guard a checkpoint on the road near the village of Leposavic, northern Kosovo. (AP Photo/Bojan Slavkovic)

Statement on the Situation in Kosovo

As delivered by Deputy Political Counselor Lewis Gitter
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
September 2, 2022

The United States and Kosovo are steadfast partners with a strong history, and we are committed to Kosovo’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.  Our goal is peace, justice, and prosperity in a democratic and multi-ethnic Kosovo that is fully integrated into the international community, and part of a whole, free, resilient, and thriving Europe.  We continue to urge the governments of Kosovo and Serbia to fully implement their past commitments, refrain from actions and rhetoric that increase tensions, and to continue to engage constructively and in good faith in the EU-facilitated Dialogue.  This is the only realistic path to a long-term solution.

It is therefore essential that both governments achieve progress towards a comprehensive agreement, centered on mutual recognition.  We have seen the potential of the Dialogue to increase regional stability with the necessary political leadership and will.  We applaud the August 27 arrangement by President Vučić and Prime Minister Kurti that facilitates cross-border travel.  We strongly support the leadership of the European Union in continuing the hard work of diplomacy within the Dialogue framework.  There is more work to do.  The parties must continue their serious engagement to resolve outstanding issues, including on license plates.

Yet, only by hearing directly from both parties can we fully understand the dynamics on the ground and determine how to best address them.  We believe it is unfortunate that Kosovo is not a member of this body and is therefore unable to speak for itself.  We look forward to the day when Kosovo is an OSCE participating State and that can happen.