We are surprised by the recent positions of French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Schulz, who are prepared to oppose the membership of the Republic of Kosova in the Council of Europe unless Kosova first agrees to establish the Association of Serb Municipalities.

Kosova has fulfilled all conditions and obligations for admission. The connection of this issue with the Association of Serbian Municipalities contradicts the European interest expressed in its support for expanding the number of countries admitted to the European Union.

Unfortunately, the US government has taken a back seat to the EU-facilitated dialogue between Kosova and Serbia, which has resulted in the State Department’s approach of appeasing the aggressor and putting pressure on the victim.  A complete change of policy in the Balkans is needed.

The Kosova government’s embrace of democracy and its relationship to Western Europe and the United States has been well established.  And the contrast between Kosova and Serbia has been strikingly revealed by Andrew Higgins’ May 9th article in The New York Times, establishing the connection between Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic and China’s President Xi Jinping.

Higgins’ article (“Shared Wariness of US Cements Chinese-Serbian Alliance”) makes it clear that Serbian President Vucic does not plan to join Europe and the United States. His ties to China and Russia are well-established.

Meanwhile, President Vucic continues to take steps to destabilize the Balkans and to threaten peace in Europe in his opposition to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Kosova

We support Kosova Prime Minister Albin Kurti’s statement on May 9 that Kosova “should be part of the European family,” and that Kosova’s advancement on the path toward the EU would be a positive signal for democratic values.”

We support the measure led by UK MP Alicia Kearns, Chair of the UK Foreign Affairs Committee, calling on the EU, US, and the UK to reverse all negative measures in place against Kosova and resume full cooperation with the Government of Kosova

We urge the US Congress and the Biden Administration to become more involved in finding a just and final solution to establish peace and security in Europe.

On behalf of the Board of the Albanian American Civic League,

Shirley Cloyes DioGuardi             Joe DioGuardi

Balkan Affairs Adviser                   President