Executive Director of Human Rights Watch Ken Roth has blasted the US administration for orchestrating the toppling of Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti, and for favoring President Hashim Thaçi to reach a deal with Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vučić.
In a tweet, Roth wrote that many saw in Kurti someone who could rid the country of corruption.
In its eagerness to back someone who would cut a peace deal with Serbia, the Trump administration backs the ouster of Kosovo PM Albin Kurti whom many thought was "their only chance to rid the country of the corrupt leaders and warlords of the past." https://t.co/mERE2VpcvT pic.twitter.com/pZ0Y0JKQR8
— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) April 5, 2020
Roth referred to an article by The Economist he attached to his tweet, titled “Did America help oust Kosovo’s reformist government?”
The Economist piece claims that Kurti was ousted under US pressure to open the way for a deal with Serbia which the Trump administration could use as a foreign policy success in the run-up to presidential election.
The right man to strike such a deal in the US administration and special envoy’s eye Richard Grenell is President Hashim Thaçi, who for a long time had been in talks with Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vučić for a deal that would include land swap.
Kurti’s firm opposition to the idea of land swap and his insistence to withdraw tariffs on Serbian imports gradually and by introducing reciprocity measures. This did not satisfy Vučić, as reciprocity with Kosovo would imply that Serbia practically recognizes the country. Grenell swiftly rejected Kurti’s proposal and the US administration suspended some financial aid to Kosovo.
The following ousting of Kurti has left his supporters bitter and pessimistic to the prospect of their country ever getting rid of corrupt leaders and warlords of the past.