Germany and France sent their special envoys to Kosovo on Wednesday as part of the EU and US efforts to halt the initiative of Kosovo authorities aimed at repealing the Law on the international war crimes court, which will deal with alleged crimes committed by the KLA during Kosovo war in 1998-99.
Germany and France have sent a joint delegation to Pristina composed of their respective officials of foreign ministries, Christian Hellbach and Thomas Bertin, to meet the country’s institutional leaders in an effort to stop plans of local leaders to undo the Special Court which was established by Kosovo Parliament in 2015 after international pressure to investigate and try allegations of the Swiss Senator Dick Marty who in his report which was approved by the Council of Europe, called for an investigation of the alleged crimes committed by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) during and right after the war in Kosovo.
The German Embassy in a press release distributed to media on Wednesday confirmed that the visit takes place against the background of concerns in Berlin and Paris about recent attempts to abolish the law on the Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office. “Further topics to be discussed include the necessity of the continuation of reforms, in particular in the field of rule of law, democracy and good governance, which are essential for a further rapprochement of Kosovo towards the European Union,” it is stated in the joint press release issued by the embassies of Germany and France in Kosovo.
In the course of their visit the German and French emissaries met Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, and representatives of opposition parties and civil society. Kosovo daily Koha Ditore reported on Thursday that German and French officials warned Kosovo leaders of “serious consequences” if they do not give up their efforts to undo The Hague based court.
Kosovo MPs from the ruling coalition on 22 December took a surprising initiative to repeal the Law triggering the reaction of the US and EU embassies in Kosovo who warned MPs and leaders of serious consequences if they decide to abrogate the Law. Media reported that the initiative is backed by Kosovo top leaders, including President Hashim Thaci, Speaker of Assembly Kadri Veseli, and Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj. The three leaders were senior commanders of the KLA during the war in Kosovo. The Speaker and chairman of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) in an opinion published on Monday said that despite being unjust, Kosovo cannot undo the Court, implying that the PDK gave up its plans to repeal the Law. The opposition parties of Vetevendosje and Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) are opposing the initiative and their votes in Parliament are crucial for revoking the law.