Officials of the US, UK, and Germany, answering to daily Zeri denied the statements of the President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci that they had promised visa liberalization, creation of the army, membership in international organizations, and new recognitions of Kosovo’s independence in exchange for creation of the Specialist Chambers, which will deal with alleged crimes committed by Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) during the war in Kosovo in 1998-99.
Officials from the US Embassy to Kosovo said that the US will remain committed to the successful operation of the Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office. "The United States remains fully committed to the successful operation of Kosovo Specialist Chambers in The Hague, and we salute the commitment of state institutions to cooperate with the Court,” Zeri quotes a written statement of the US Embassy in Pristina. The U.S. Embassy also promised that they will continue supporting Kosovo when it comes to membership into international organisations.
Also the British Embassy denied the allegations that international community made promises to Thaci in exchange for establishment of the Specialist Chambers. “We made no promises to Kosovo related to establishment of the Specialist Chambers and it is not fair to claim the opposite. Membership into international organisations is based in specific criteria of membership of individual organisations. The United Kingdom is working to support full international integrity of Kosovo,” the British Ambassador told the daily.
The German Embassy considers that Specialist Chambers are very important for Kosovo. “Specialist Chambers are a judicial institution within Kosovo’s legal framework. They are important for Kosovo because they contribute to the rule of law in Kosovo. They are not related to political goals beyond their specific mandate,” the Embassy told the daily. As far as transformation of the Kosovo Security Force (KSF) into the Armed Force of Kosovo (AFK) is concerned, the Embassy said that they support the Army if it established in line with the Constitution of Kosovo.
Attending a debate on Monday on the role of the Specialist Chambers, Thaci said among the things that international officials promised in return were to fast-track Kosovo for European Union and UNESCO membership and visa liberalization, and allow Kosovo to form its army. But the daily Koha Ditore reports on Thursday that after internationals denied “bargaining” with Thaci, the President of Kosovo has criticised media for misquoting him. Talking to journalists on Wednesday following a meeting with his Albanian counterpart Ilir Meta, Thaci said that the media misquoted him, making an interpretation that the promises were given in exchange of establishment of the Court.