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Hovenier: The association would avoid problems with the dinar in Kosovo

2024-02-29 20:27:22, Kosova & Bota CNA

Hovenier: The association would avoid problems with the dinar in Kosovo

The American ambassador in Pristina, Jeff Hovenier, said on Thursday that if the Association of municipalities with a Serbian majority had been established, there would not have been concerns about the use of the Serbian dinar in Kosovo, while he called on the government to advance the process of establishing him and to request as soon as possible the opinion of the Constitutional Court on the draft statute drawn up by the West for this Association.

"In this way, Kosovo would benefit substantially. There will be an answer if it is constitutional or not, it will be known if there is executive responsibility or not, and we think that only the Court can give that assessment", he said, underlining that this would reflect Kosovo's commitment to fulfill its obligations her.

"Some of the concerns we have raised regarding the implementation of the Central Bank regulation would have been overcome if we had a functioning Association," said Ambassador Hovenier, calling for the issue to be discussed within the framework of talks mediated by the European Union on normalization of Kosovo-Serbia relations.

A regulation by the Central Bank of Kosovo, according to which the euro is the only currency that can be used for cash payments in Kosovo, prompted an angry reaction from Belgrade, and concerns from Western diplomacy about its impact on the lives of Kosovo Serbs who continue to be financially supported by Belgrade, but also for the tensions between the parties.

"We are not challenging the responsibility or authorities of the Central Bank. We are not trying to protect the dinar. The United States government does not take a position on which currency is used in Kosovo, this is determined by the Kosovo authorities", said Ambassador Hovenier, underlining that the issue is how the Central Bank regulation is being implemented and the impact of this implementation on minority communities, especially Serbian community.

"And now why do we think this is a matter of dialogue? Because according to (Martti) Ahtisaari's plan, with the conditions in which Kosovo received our support for its independence, commitments were made regarding specific protection and specific arrangements for minority communities", said the American ambassador during a conversation with a group of journalists in Pristina.

On Tuesday, Kosovo refused to be represented at a political level in a meeting in Brussels on this issue.

The United States has criticized Kosovo and warned that the partnership between the two governments has been damaged by its approach to the dinar issue.

"I don't think my government can signal more clearly than with the ways we have signaled so far that we are dissatisfied with the quality of our partnership with (Albin) Kurti's government at this time. We do not believe that the current government has been sufficiently attentive to the concerns we have repeatedly raised about the plans and implementation or subsequent implementation of the Central Bank regulation. We are not doing this, as I said, to protect the dinar, we are doing this because it is important for the United States and our partners", he said, underlining that the Kosovo government should act in a way that is in compliance with the commitments it has made to ensure that all members of society, including members of minority communities can live in conditions of dignity and security.

"And we believe that the way this regulation is being implemented doesn't do that enough. We believe it is harming vulnerable people. We believe this is causing real distress in a community, which is unnecessary. So, it has affected the quality of our partnership", said Ambassador Hovenier, emphasizing that the United States is more committed than ever to the people of Kosovo, but this, he added, does not mean that each government of Kosovo will gain support for the solutions you make.

"If those solutions are in line with our point of view, we will support them, if we notice that they hinder our objectives, we will criticize them," said Mr. Hovenier, warning that a damaged partnership has consequences./ VOA

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