Statement by ambassador of the United States to the Republic of Kosovo, Jeffrey M. Hovenier
February 3, 2024
The United States Government is deeply concerned about recent actions by authorities of the Government of Kosovo that have a direct and negative effect on members of the ethnic Serb and other minority communities in Kosovo. These actions are unnecessarily raising ethnic tensions and as a consequence limit the options of the United States to serve as an effective advocate for Kosovo in the international arena. They include operations carried out by the Kosovo Police at the direction of the Ministry of Internal Affairs over the past week at the offices of Serbia-administered institutions in Dragash/Dragag, Peje/Pec, Istog/Istok, and Kline/Klina, as well as at the NGO Center For Peace and Tolerance in Pristina. We are also concerned by Kosovo Police actions today to seize Serbian Dinar and the vehicle transporting it to distribute social benefit payments from Serbia. We look to the authorities of Kosovo to ensure that the individuals for whom these social benefit payments were intended receive them without delay.
It is the Government of Kosovo’s responsibility to promote the vision set forth at its founding and enshrined in its Declaration of Independence and Constitution: one of a fully multiethnic democracy that is responsive to the concerns of all of its citizens. The issues related to Serbia-supported structures in Kosovo should be dealt with through the EU-facilitated Dialogue. We likewise reiterate our request that Kosovo postpone enforcement of the Central Bank of Kosovo’s amended Regulation on Cash Operations until satisfactory procedures in line with European standards are in place and until the population has been sufficiently informed about how the transition of their benefits will proceed.