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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Events in Northern Kosovo

Press Statement
Heide Bronke Fulton
Acting Deputy Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
July 26, 2011


The United States regrets that last night’s action by the Kosovo Government to take control of customs border crossings in northern Kosovo was not coordinated with the international community. 


We call upon the governments of Kosovo and Serbia to continue to work urgently toward a de-escalation of the current situation.


The United States greatly appreciates the prompt actions of NATO’s peacekeeping force in Kosovo (KFOR) to de-escalate the situation and work to establish a safe and secure environment, and we will continue to support KFOR and other international actors in this task.  


We urge all parties to refrain from the use of violence.


The free movement of goods between Serbia and Kosovo should be addressed within the European Union-facilitated dialogue.  Unilateral acts by both sides – the imposition by Serbia of a unilateral embargo on Kosovo goods in 2008, and the recent decision by Kosovo to reciprocate after the failure of both parties to reach agreement on customs normalization – have resulted in this current impasse.  We have confidence in the EU’s management of the dialogue and urge both parties to return to the negotiating table immediately. We expect Kosovo and Serbia, through the Dialogue, to establish the positive, reciprocal conditions that permit both people and goods to move freely between Kosovo and Serbia.

PRN: 2011/1240

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