Ambassador Jeffrey Hovenier’s statement to Kosovo media, Entry/exit documents and license plates decisions

Ambassador Jeffrey Hovenier’s statement to Kosovo media, Entry/exit documents and license plates decisions, July 31, 2022

Good evening. I came here tonight because I, like all of us, am concerned about the situation and Northern Kosovo’s safety.

First, I want to talk a little bit about the decisions themselves — these decisions on entry/exit documents and this decision on the exchange of license plates to citizens of Kosovo so that citizens have a license plate issued by the Republic of Kosovo.

From the United States Perspective these decisions are completely appropriate and consistent with the Brussels Agreements, and the United States Government has had no qualms or concerns about these decisions themselves.

We have had some dialogue with the government about the implementation of those decisions and the timelines for that.

And one of the reasons I am here this evening was to have a conversation with President Osmani, Prime Minister Kurti, Deputy Prime Minister Bislimi, Deputy Prime Minister Foreign Minister Gërvalla-Schwarz to convey a clear request from the United States Government to postpone the implementation of these two decisions for 30 days.

We think this 30-day postponement in their implementation would be important because there seems to be misinformation, misunderstanding, and disinformation about these decisions themselves and their implications.

We hope to work with this government and with our EU colleagues to help provide, ensure there is a better understanding of these decisions, and to help reduce tensions through this understanding. I do have to be clear: we are not asking that these decisions be revisited.

I also want to acknowledge the concern that some individuals have chosen to express their concerns with these decisions by doing things like establishing barricades or reducing the freedom of movement.

We don’t encourage that, and we don’t support that.

The way to express concern about government decisions is through civil dialogue.

So, we have made this request to the government, and we look forward to the government’s decision.

Thank you very much.