Question: What is the State Department’s reaction to press reports that NATO peacekeeping troops and Serb protestors have been wounded in clashes along the border?
Answer: The United States condemns the violent attack by a Serb mob against the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) on September 27th. KFOR was dismantling a Serb roadblock and establishing a vehicle checkpoint on an unauthorized border crossing when it came under attack.
We regret that nine KFOR members sustained injuries during the incident, which occurred while KFOR was carrying out its responsibilities under UN Security Council Resolution 1244.
We continue to follow developments in northern Kosovo very closely and call on all parties to maintain calm, to avoid precipitous actions, to refrain from inflammatory rhetoric, and allow freedom of movement.
The free movement of people and goods is in Kosovo’s and Serbia’s interests – and in keeping with each country’s EU aspirations. Roadblocks, barricades and violence only serve to impair the daily lives of the people of Kosovo and Serbia and inhibit their freedom of movement. We encourage the Governments of Kosovo and Serbia to remain committed to the EU-facilitated dialogue process, to encourage calm, and to find agreements that improve the lives of the ordinary citizens in both countries.