Statement from U.S. Embassy Pristina

Statement from U.S. Embassy Pristina, March 11, 2019

It was almost a year ago that Kosovo expelled six Turkish citizens as alleged threats to national security without due process.  We were pleased to see the establishment of a parliamentary investigative committee, which exposed legal violations surrounding the incident despite attempts to obstruct its work.  The committee’s findings, which suggest 31 legal or procedural breaches by the Kosovo Intelligence Agency, Interior Ministry, and other institutions, raise concerns about overreach by key security agencies, as well as the security sector’s susceptibility to political manipulation.  We call on Kosovo institutions to ensure full accountability for anyone violating the law, and remind Kosovo leaders that security institutions must act only within their constitutional authority, subject to the rule of law.

The issue is not the alleged guilt or innocence of the individuals, but rather the apparent circumventing of Kosovo’s legal processes by Kosovo politicians.  Political pressure on the security sector to break Kosovo law is an egregious breach of democratic values.  We urge full transparency in the security sector, and in the conduct of foreign affairs, to prevent inappropriate interference by Kosovo politicians in the future.