Open Letter: Albanian-American Community Calls for U.S. State Department Firm Support for the Republic of Kosova

40+ #AlbanianAmerican community leaders, business leaders, academics, & practitioners from 10+ U.S. States call for greater U.S. State Department support for #Kosova.

The Honorable Anthony Blinken

Department of State

2201 C Street, NW

Washington, DC 20520

Honorable Secretary Blinken:

As concerned members of the Albanian-American community and friends of this community, we are hereby writing to express our firm support for standing with the Republic of Kosova as it enforces law and order and against the actions of the Republic of Serbia as it directly and aggressively interferes in the internal matters of Kosova. We respectfully urge the U.S. State Department and the Biden administration to do the same.

Secretary Blinken, Serbia interferes in the internal matters of all countries in the region that form part of its imagined “Serbian World,” a carbon copy of the “Russian World” outlined by Russia and Vladimir Putin before its brutal invasion of the Republic of Ukraine. So, in the Balkans, not only Kosova, but Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro are at a constant risk of Serbia’s and President Vucic’s inspired violence and political and civic unrest, which is almost always supported by Russia.

This letter comes as the staunch Balkan ally of the United States, the Republic of Kosova, aims to implement its Constitution and laws, and the results of local elections supported by the U.S. and Kosova’s international partners, in the service of all its citizens and across all of Kosova’s territory. On Friday, May 26, following the swearing of their oaths of office by Kosova’s newly democratically elected mayors for its four northernmost municipalities, Kosova security institutions helped to secure the mayors’ access to their respective municipal buildings in Zvecan, Zubin Potok, and Leposaviq. The efforts of the security institutions were met by groups and individuals leading roadblocks, physical attacks, and throwing explosives — unmistakably Serbia government inspired and endorsed — that led to violence. We are aware that law enforcement officials used armored vehicles, water cannons, and teargas as a measure to secure access to the buildings, but that these were used to defend themselves and the new authorities from violent crowds rather than instigate violence.

President Vucic raised the combat readiness of the Serbian Armed Forces to the highest level and assembled Serbian troops to the border with Kosova as he has done now on five occasions in just the last two years. That’s five instances of serious Serbian military aggression with, unfortunately, a minimal response from the United States. On Monday, May 29, a violent mob attacked peacekeepers, leading to the injury of 30 NATO troops, many by the use of shock bombs and three wounded by firearms. Mobs have also carried out 21 attacks against Kosova journalists, destroyed and damaged police vehicles, and injured other officials and beaten bystanders.

This is an unacceptable aggressive posture that the Serbian government has taken against Kosova and NATO. Serbia’s willingness to threaten to deploy military force against Kosova and NATO, as well as inspire civilian gangs to attack the same, are a staunch reminder of the utter unreliability of the current Serbian president and his regime as a partner of the United States and the West.

We note, to add insult to injury, that President Vucic closely consulted the Ambassadors of China and Russia to Serbia as reports were coming in of Serbian groups attacking NATO soldiers. At a time when Russia is undertaking its war of aggression in Ukraine, we respectfully request that the United States end its ambivalent, appeasing approach to Serbia and demand that Vucic make a clear choice on where he sees Serbia’s future — as a partner of the West, or as Putin’s regional satellite. Vucic cannot continue to sit on two or three chairs and pretend to be a reliable partner of the U.S.

We call on you, Mr. Secretary, to recall and recognize that Kosova is a strong and devoted ally of the United States. Together, the United States, Kosova, and their Western partners have created not only an independent and sovereign country, but also a leading democracy in the Western Balkans and beyond.

Kosova was the first to answer calls to take in Afghan refugees, as well as support the deployment of the Kosova Security Force to serve hand-in-hand with the U.S. military. We urge you to work closely with Kosova’s leadership, President Vjosa Osmani and Prime Minister Albin Kurti, to solve this security situation whilst furthering Kosova’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, democratic development, and inclusion of minority communities in Kosova’s democracy.

We strongly support a peaceful resolution of the crisis, through dialogue and democratic processes, as is being pursued by the Biden administration. We commend the great efforts in earnest of the U.S. Ambassador to Kosova, Jeff Hovenier, for deepening the U.S.-Kosova relationship and managing this security situation.

However, we wish to note our disapproval of the United States’ current approach of applying one-sided pressure on the government of Kosova to engage in concessions with Serbia, including withdrawing elected mayors from municipal buildings, agreeing to the establishment of an Association of Serbian Municipalities, and other unilateral concessions that are neither reciprocated by Serbia nor aligned with the principles of the rule of law, democratic legitimacy, and territorial integrity.

We call for any resolution to this crisis and the political standoff between Kosova and Serbia to be in full alignment with the current Constitution of Kosova, the Comprehensive Proposal for the Kosova Status Settlement of President Ahtisaari, and a dialogue which does not undermine but rather affirms Kosova’s sovereignty. We strongly encourage the U.S. to support a dialogue that leads to mutual recognition of Kosova and Serbia as soon as possible.


Agim Aliçkaj, New York

Lirim Ashiku, Wisconsin

Harry Bajraktari, New York

Nador Bakalli, Toronto, Canada

Bleron Baraliu, New York

Elmi Berisha, New York

Dr. Sulejman Çelaj, New York

Musa Dakaj, New York

Luan Elezi, Illinois

Ardian Gashi, Wisconsin

Behlul Gashi, Connecticut

Drilon S. Gashi, Virginia

Egzon Gashi, New Jersey

Antoneta Gjolaj, Michigan

Lumi Hadri, New York

Etel Haxhiaj, Massachusetts

David Ivezaj, Michigan

Laura Ivezaj, JD, Michigan

Ilaz Kadriu, Illinois

Dr. Gazmend Kapllani, Illinois

Mark Kosmo, Massachusetts

Dr. Sidita Kushi, Massachusetts

Anton Lekocaj, Michigan

Richard Lukaj, Connecticut

Dr. Medlir Mema, Idaho

Dr. Elidor Mëhilli, New York

Vera Mjeku, New York

Ard Morina, New Jersey

Dr. Jasmin Mujanovic, California

Gino Mulliqi, Texas

Dr. Srdja Pavlovic, Edmonton, AB, Canada

Dr. Besnik Pula, Virginia

Burim Ramadani, Illinois

Gezim Rushiti, Texas

Shaqir Salihu, Virginia

Idriz Shabani, Wisconsin

Suzanna Shkreli, Michigan

Shqiprim Vranici, Texas

Behar Xharra, Virginia

Ilir Zenku, Illinois

Ilir Zherka, California

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