O'Brien: Kosovo to urgently advance towards the establishment of the Association of municipalities with a Serbian majority

2024-04-24 19:16:52, Kosova & Bota CNA

O'Brien: Kosovo to urgently advance towards the establishment of the

US Assistant Secretary of State James O'Brien said on Wednesday that Kosovo must urgently advance towards the establishment of the Association of Serb-majority municipalities. He made these comments in a post on the X network, known until recently as Twitter, in which he announced that he met in Germany with the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, whom he assured of the support of the United States for the path of Kosovo towards Euro-Atlantic integration.

"To move forward, we need the implementation of the commitments emerging from the talks brokered by the European Union, including urgent progress towards the Association of Serb-Majority Municipalities," he wrote.

On Saturday, Mr. O'Brien, during a visit to Belgrade, said that the United States will do everything possible to ensure the fulfillment of Kosovo's commitment to the establishment of the Association.

Kosovo and Serbia agreed in 2013 on the establishment of the Association, while in 2015 they agreed on its principles. But, that same year, the Constitutional Court of Kosovo found that a large part of these principles are in conflict with the Constitution of Kosovo.

The establishment of this mechanism is part of the agreement on the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia, which the parties agreed on last year in Brussels and Ohrid.

Kosovo has been reluctant to take steps on this issue for fear that such a mechanism could turn into an entity similar to the Republika Srpska in Bosnia.

In October of last year, European and American diplomats submitted to the parties a draft Association statute and assured Kosovo that it will not be in conflict with the country's Constitution. The leaders of both countries said yes in principle to the document, but things have not moved from the country.

The draft statute drawn up by Western diplomats states that it will be subject to review of its constitutionality by the Constitutional Court before establishment.

Diplomats expect the authorities in Pristina to send the draft statute to the Constitutional Court, and to do so, it must be approved by the government and transformed into a legal document reviewable by the Court.

On Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron, after a telephone conversation with Prime Minister Albin Kurti, emphasized "the importance of the rapid and irreversible progress by the Kosovo authorities towards the establishment of the Association of Municipalities with a Serbian majority in the framework of efforts for its membership in the Council of Europe ".

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Kurti in an announcement "expressed his belief that France will continue to support Kosovo's membership in the Council of Europe, without additional preconditions, in accordance with the opinion of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the historic vote of April 16".

He, according to an announcement from his office, insisted on "respecting and fully implementing" the agreement reached last year.

Belgrade has accused the authorities in Pristina and the European Union for not establishing the association, while it has launched a campaign against Kosovo's membership in the Council of Europe, although in last year's agreement the parties agreed that they will not hinder each other in the integration processes. .

Last week, the European Union included the implementation of the agreement in Serbia's negotiating framework for membership in the bloc./ VOA

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