Osmani: Measures against Kosovo are creating an imbalance in dialogue



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Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani requested the lifting of punitive measures that the European Union imposed on Kosovo last year due to failure to meet some demands related to the escalation of the situation in northern Kosovo, inhabited by a Serbian majority.

During a meeting with the head of the EU office, Tomas Szunyog, the ambassadors of France, Olivier Guerot, Italy, Antonello De Riu, and the deputy ambassador of Germany, Mathias Conrad, Osmani said that the measures are “unfair” and are creating an “imbalance in the dialogue” with Serbia, mediated by the EU.

Osmani added that Kosovo has taken steps towards fulfilling the international community’s demands on this issue.

“The removal of measures would create a much more positive atmosphere for the continuation of principled dialogue where both parties would be treated equally,” Osmani said, according to a media statement.

Last summer, the EU took punitive measures against Kosovo, including the cancellation of some funds and high-level meetings, because Kosovo did not comply with some of its demands to escalate the situation in the northern part of the country, inhabited by a Serbian majority.

Among the EU’s demands, as well as the United States’, was the holding of new elections in northern Kosovo, as those in April 2023 were boycotted by Serbs, resulting in Albanian mayors winning elections in four municipalities in the north.

According to the statement, Osmani discussed preparations for holding these elections.

“The President reiterated that the right to seek the removal of mayors through signatures is the right of citizens, and now expects all necessary procedures to be carried out by the Central Elections Commission in accordance with the law and the current administrative instruction,” the statement said.

In Zvecan, Leposavic, North Mitrovica, and Zubin Potok, Serbian citizens have organized signature collection meetings to initiate legal procedures for the dismissal of Albanian municipal mayors.

The petition is organized in accordance with an approved administrative instruction, which enables citizens to dismiss municipal leaders.

During the meeting, Osmani also spoke about the clashes between Serbian protesters and KFOR members in Zvecan on May 29, saying that Serbia “is not taking responsibility for inciting the attack” against NATO peacekeepers in Kosovo.

Last May, Serbs in Zvecan, Leposavic, and Zubin Potok opposed the entry of Albanian mayors into municipal buildings, and tensions escalated during the protest in Zvecan, where dozens of people from both sides were injured during clashes between protesters and KFOR members.