US envoy Gabriel Escobar told N1 on Wednesday that he sees some reason for optimism in terms of a solution to the current crisis in Kosovo following meetings with top officials in Pristina and Belgrade.
Escobar added that the solution should benefit the entire region, not just Serbia and Kosovo.
Escobar refused to disclose details of his meeting with the officials in Kosovo and Serbia but said that he expects the barricades in the north of Kosovo should be taken down by the people who put them up. According to him, their concerns are legitimate. He added that he believes the Serbs will return to Kosovo’s institutions soon.
Escobar went on to say that Washington categorically rejects the possibility of the Serbian military returning to Kosovo, saying that the crisis should not be militarized because diplomacy should take precedence.
European Union envoy Miroslav Lajcak said that he had an open discussion with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on ways to lower tensions in Kosovo.
“We had an open and honest discussion on a political solution that would lower tensions and allow for the dismantling of barricades,” Lajcak wrote in a Twitter post.
He added that Vucic “understands the seriousness of the situation”.
The Serbian government is expected to make a decision on sending an official request to the international forces in Kosovo to allow the return of a certain number of Serbian forces to the north in order to, say officials in Belgrade, protect the majority Serbian population.
The US government has already expressed opposition to Belgrade’s proposal, whose envoy for the Balkans, Gabriel Escobar, said: “We categorically reject it and do not support it at all.”
(N1, BBC News, 15.12.2022)
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