United States Mission to the OSCE
November 29, 2018
As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Harry Kamian
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
I had not intended to intervene on this topic, but since my country was mentioned; Mr. Chair, the countries of the Western Balkans have made great strides in recent years in enshrining the rule of law and fostering robust economic growth to ensure their future success. In our view, it is critical that all parties continue to work to avoid provocations and to de-escalate tensions.
This week, U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo in his meeting with Kosovo President Thaci confirmed the United States’ steadfast support for a sovereign, independent Kosovo, fully integrated into the international community. Secretary Pompeo urged Kosovo authorities to rescind the tariffs placed on imports from Serbia and from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Mr. Chair, normalizing relations between Kosovo and Serbia is the only way to clear the path to both countries’ future integration into the Western community of nations. The United States is ready to help and to support the parties reach a solution in the context of the EU-facilitated dialogue that is durable, implementable, and increases stability.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.