Washington is categorically against the idea, floated by Belgrade, to allow Serbian troops to return to the troubled north of Kosovo, Gabriel Escobar, special US envoy for the Western Balkans, said on Tuesday.
“We are categorically against that, we categorically reject this, we don’t support it at all. I also want to say that Kosovo has very strong security guarantees from the USA,” Escobar told Radio Free Europe in an interview held in Kosovo’s capital Pristina.
Escobar is due in Belgrade on Thursday together with EU envoy Miroslav Lajčak, for talks with Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, who said earlier on Tuesday he would formally ask NATO later this week to allow Serbian troops in Kosovo.
UN resolution 1244 allows for a return of a limited number of Serb troops, under special conditions and with prior consent from NATO, which Vučić said would almost certainly not be granted.
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 which Belgrade refuses to recognise. The recently resumed EU-sponsored Pristina-Belgrade dialogue has yielded little result and tensions in the north of Kosovo, with a sizeable ethnic Serb community, flared up last month.
Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić voiced her discontent at Escobar’s remarks, tweeting that he is “yet another politician who is adamantly against valid Resolutions of the UN Security Council”.
“One question, if I may, with all due respect: If UN resolution 1244 is no longer valid, if the Brussels agreement is no longer valid… if the Washington agreement is a thing of the past and the UN charter does not apply to Serbia, which principles should guide our actions?”
“Or are we just supposed to follow your horoscope in order to guess your wishes and help save world peace?,” Brnabić added.
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