From: Exit Staff
Albanian-American Organizations Criticize US Administration’s Policy in Kosovo  Flags of Kosovo, Albania and the US during celebrations of the 10th anniversary of Kosovo's declaration of independence © Hazir Reka © Reuters

A coalition of Albanian-American organizations has warned the US Government against pushing for a quick deal between Kosovo and Serbia, which could result in destabilizing the region.

In a letter addressed to President Donald Trump and other high US Government officials, 43 organizations expressed “serious concerns” over the Trump administration’s policy towards Kosovo-Serbia talks.

They warned President Trump that achievements of bipartisan endeavors in Kosovo “may be sullied due to short-sighted diplomacy goals of certain officials in Kosova, Serbia and perhaps the United States – all in your name.”

The letter informed the US administration of the current feelings of Kosovars, after the pressure on the Kosovo government that resulted in its toppling: “Kosovars are fearful that Serbian lobbying may have impaired the US moral compass and that the US may look away as Kosova is potentially further chopped up to suit Serbia’s nationalist ambitions.”

They reminded the US government of the killings and other atrocities committed by the Serbian regime of Slobodan Milosevic in Kosovo, adding that they “could not have imagined US representatives today being complicit with short-sighted policies, which do not serve the interests of the people of Kosova and risk tainting your legacy of engagement in this region as the situation continues to devolve.”

They criticized the US government envoys for supporting certain politicians in the hopes of reaching a deal with Serbia, against the will of the Kosovo people. A deal that would include redrawing of borders, they added, could reignite conflict throughout the region given that ethnic minorities are found all around the Balkans.

The organization underlined in their letter that they support talks between Kosovo and Serbia, but they should be held “at the right time and under the right conditions.”

“Regrettably, recent US tactics in the Balkans have not aided in creating these necessary conditions, but instead resorted to bullying the victims of the recent conflicts in the hope of appeasing Serbia (and by extension Russia’s interests) while endeavoring to extract an ‘expedient deal’,” they stated.

The letter also outlined some suggestions for successful talks between the two countries: not to rush with the deal, addressing the toppling of the Kurti government, excluding land swap and amnesty from the deal, including economic reparations, free trade, increased US and NATO military presence in the region, transparency for funds of religious institutions in Kosovo, US investment in both countries, conditioning of EU integration with implementation of the deal, Serbia must stop undermining Kosovo’s statehood.

“Any peace treaty must be recognized and guaranteed by the UN Security Council, EU, US and NATO, but only after the agreement garners widespread support within each country,” they concluded.