US Embassy informs Kurti that US military presence in Kosovo is under consideration - Gazeta Express
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US Embassy informs Kurti that US military presence in Kosovo is under consideration

Gazeta Express

20/02/2020 19:44

(edited) – Gazeta Express learned through its American sources that the US Embassy officials in Pristina have told Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti the US is considering withdrawal of its troops from Kosovo.

Months ago, it was widely speculated that Americans are considering removing the Bondsteel camp from Kosovo if its political leadership continues disobeying international suggestions for tax be abolished. But this information was never confirmed.

Lexo Edhe:

However, this option seems to be seriously considered. Ambassador Philip Kosnett, during a meeting today with Prime Minister Kurti, informed him on Pentagon’s plan to reconsider US military presence in Kosovo.

“The US Embassy in Pristina has told Kurti that the presence of US forces in Kosovo is already under consideration,” the source told Gazeta Express.

It is at the most serious warning the United States has made to Kosovo since the US deployed its troops here in 1999.

The situation deteriorated after in November 2018 former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj introduced tariffs on Serbian imports.

Gazeta Express has reported that Prime Minister Kurti, because of this problem, has been excommunicated by the senior US officials, who are firm not to meet him until tariffs are revoked.

Albin Kurti and Vjosa Osmani, as candidates for prime minister in the 6 October elections, had promised to lift the tax and replace it with broad reciprocity measures with Serbia. But now that they lead the ruling coalition, they have not yet made any decision on this matter.

The US President Donald Trump’s special envoy on Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, Ambassador Richard Grenell, keeps insisting the tariffs should be drooped immediately enabling resumption of dialogue with Serbia. It is highly likely that a swift agreement between Kosovo and Serbia be reached soon. But new leaders of Kosovo seem reluctant to this idea.

Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti speaking to Radio Free Europe said that there is no need to hurry in this process, reminding that Serbia will hold general elections in April. It remains unknown whether this is the main reason Kurti is procrastinating revocation of tariffs. /GazetaExpress/