Statement on Violence in Mushtishte/Musutiste and Gjakove/Djakovica

The U.S. Embassy unreservedly condemns the use of violence to achieve political objectives in Kosovo as we have seen in recent days.  We call on all Kosovo’s leaders to do the same.  Democracy provides space for disagreement and even for protest. But under no circumstances is violence against police, the media, members of the government and other citizens, an acceptable expression of political views or a way to address past grievances, no matter how painful.

The Kosovo Police played an important role yesterday lessening the violence and maintaining rule of law, and we commend their continued service to all of Kosovo’s citizens.

Serious, unresolved issues remain in Kosovo, but they are no closer to resolution after these violent protests.  Much work has been done to normalize relations and create a modern, democratic state.  However, further political violence risks undoing much of this progress.  Kosovo can expect to move forward to Euro-Atlantic integration only if all parties re-commit to peaceful dialogue, democracy, and rule of law.