President Thaçi meets US Assistant Secretary of State Nuland

Prishtina, July 10th, 2016 – The President of the Republic of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi today met with Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the United States Department of State, Victoria Nuland.

President Thaçi briefed US Assistant Secretary of State Nuland on the latest development in Kosovo and about his priorities as the President of the country. “I will remain committed to our joint priorities”, President Thaçi said.

He said that upon assuming the office of the head of state, he immediately began to promote the decriminalization of Kosovo’s political scene.

“There is already an established practice according to which convicted or accused persons give up their political posts and duties in the country”, President Thaçi said. According to him, hard work is being done to ensure that the accused persons do not escape responsibility and to receive the deserved punishment by justice.

“We have initiated the completion of the Criminal Code. By fall we will have concrete steps in this direction”, President Thaçi announced and added that “no one shall be allowed to evade justice”.

Referring to the developments in Kosovo, President Thaçi said that the political scene has now overcome the ugly images that have been seen in the past and stressed that it is time to turn attention to the important decisions for Kosovo and its future.

“The border demarcation with Montenegro must be approved by the parliament as soon as possible. It has unjustly been turned into a political issue which is unjustly punishing the citizens of Kosovo by delaying visa liberalization for them, but also delaying the consolidation of the state”, President Thaçi said.

President Thaçi said that Kosovo promoted good neighborly relations, including Serbia as well. “Both sides have to implement all the agreements reached so far. It is time for a renewed quality in the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, which will bring reconciliation and better and more cooperative neighborly relations”, President Thaçi added.

He also spoke about the developments in the field of security, stressing that Kosovo remains committed to fighting extremism and terrorism, but also to concluding the process of the building of security architecture, including the establishment of the Kosovo Armed Forces.

“We will exhaust all possibilities for dialogue with all communities, including the representatives of the Kosovo Serbs, for the establishment of the Kosovo Armed Forces. But, Kosovo cannot accept for Belgrade to have “veto” in the process of the forming of Kosovo’s army”, President Thaçi said.

On the other hand, the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the United States Department of State, Victoria Nuland expressed her satisfaction with the visit and conveyed the greetings of President Obama and the US administration for President Thaçi and the people of Kosovo.

“We were together in Warsaw and President Obama sends you his greetings, as well as Vice President Joe Biden, who welcomes this progress in the important steps to be undertaken by Kosovo in the coming months”, US Assistant Secretary of State Nuland said at the meeting.

US Assistant Secretary of State Nuland praised the achievements of Kosovo, especially in combating corruption, but also stressed that even more is needed to be done. “Justice remains a priority for the US”, Nuland said.

She said that the European Union’s attention has been shifted from the Balkan region, whereas the US will be focused, in fall, on the presidential elections, therefore the Western Balkan countries need to take the necessary steps themselves to consolidate their states, but also their relations with one another.

“It is good for Kosovo to make the necessary states before fall and thus keep the momentum of the positive developments going”, Nuland concluded.

President of the Republic of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi thanked US Assistant Secretary of State Nuland for the supported of the United States and the encouragement it gives to Kosovan state institutions to continue the process of democratic and economic development, and of the strengthening of the rule of law in the country.

“We will remain committed to our joint priorities”, President Thaçi concluded.