Albanian PM Rama Condemns Serbian Military Presence in Kosovo, Calls for Dialogue

Prime Minister Edi Rama
Edi Rama, 2018. Photo: CEEC-China 2018/Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0

ZAGREB – At a joint press conference with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković during a working visit to Zagreb on September 2, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said that the only way to normalize Kosovo-Serbia relations is through dialogue.

On September 24, near the village of Banjska in northern Kosovo, Kosovo Serb gunmen attacked a police patrol, killing one officer. Following the attack, a firefight ensued near the Kosovo-Serbia border, resulting in the deaths of the three gunmen. Both Belgrade and Pristina have since pointed fingers at each other, with Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vučić accusing the Kosovo government of inciting an “uprising” among the Serb minority. In contrast, Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti alleges Serbia’s hand in supporting “organized crime” groups attacking Kosovo.

The White House raised alarms about Serbia amassing forces at the Kosovo border. With NATO’s 4,500 troops stationed in Kosovo for peacekeeping, the potential for a military confrontation with the West loomed large. However, after diplomatic intervention from the US, Serbia agreed to withdraw some troops.

At the Monday press conference, as reported by Albanian news website Tema, Rama condemned the Serbian army’s presence on Kosovo’s northern border, labeling it a “show that incites tension.” Both leaders called for dialogue as the only way forward and urged the EU and the West to take action against Serbia. Rama further emphasized the need for immediate measures, even without an international investigation, given the clear violation of “inalienable norms and values.”

Source/s: / U.S. Department of State

Image source: CEEC-China 2018 / Wikimedia

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