Shaheen Leads Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers in Joint Statement Calling for Calm Between Kosovo and Serbia Amid Clashes
(Washington, DC) -- Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, led a bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Senators Murphy (D-CT), Van Hollen (D-MD), Cardin (D-MD), Tillis (R-NC), and Ricketts (R-NE) in a joint statement urging calm between Kosovo and Serbia amid deteriorating security conditions between the two nations:
“As U.S. lawmakers, across party lines, we are increasingly concerned by the fragile security situation in the north of Kosovo. Today, we reiterate that there is broad bipartisan support in the U.S. Senate for the European Union’s efforts, in close coordination with the United States, to mediate a path forward. But for a resolution to be tenable, both Prime Minister Kurti and President Vucic must immediately heed international calls to deescalate the situation, restore popular trust in local institutions in the north and recommit to implementation of the Agreement on the Path to Normalization by establishing an Association of Serb-Majority Municipalities in Kosovo. As both leaders consider their next steps, we urge them to choose peace, prosperity and the safety of their respective citizens. Failure to de-escalate the situation would trigger consequences from the West, which has diligently worked to support Kosovo and Serbia on a path forward, and needlessly risks weakening our bilateral relations. That is not in anyone’s best interest. We urge Kosovo and Serbia to work in good faith with the European Union and the United States to find a path forward without delay.”
The statement comes on the heels of a phone call between Prime Minister Kurti and Senators Shaheen, Murphy and Ricketts. Last month, Senators Shaheen and Ricketts issued a statement calling for calm. In March, the Senators issued a joint statement on the interim agreement reached between Serbia and Kosovo. Shaheen visited Kosovo and Serbia last April as part of a congressional delegation visit to the Balkans, which also included a stop in Bosnia and Herzegovina. At the urging of Shaheen, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on the Western Balkans last month, which came on the heels of Shaheen’s renewed bipartisan push to advance her legislation that would promote cooperation between the U.S. and the Western Balkans.