Newly appointed US Ambassador to Kosovo, Phlip Kosnett, says his government is not pushing for a shift to the border or an exchange of territory between Kosovo and Serbia.
“I think some people have the misunderstanding that the United States has been pressing for a shift to the border or an exchange of territory. As my superiors in Washington have tried to make clear: what we are interested in is an agreement that is negotiated in good faith by the two sides,” Konsett said in an interview with the public broadcaster, RTK. “The United State does not have any preconceptions about what a comprehensive Dialogue agreement might entail. It might be that the two sides decide – honestly in good faith – to make an adjustment to the border. They may very well decide not to, and believe me, I understand the depth of concern, the historical reasons why adjusting the border is very complicated,” he said. “And again, I want to emphasize, my government is not pushing for that. We do not necessarily see that as a key to the dialogue. I think that a great deal of discussion of the Dialogue has focused on that. I think discussion of the border is only one aspect of the wide range of discussion that has to take place between the two countries. It has also has to touch on economic cooperation, security, culture, education, justice, very much justice – the wide range of issues that the two governments need to speak about, and it is important not to fixate on only one aspect of the problem,” Kosnett stated.
The US Ambassador said that they have tried to make clear that the US has no any preconceptions. “We are not saying that certain issues should not be discussed and we are not saying that certain outcomes are required. Serbia and Kosovo are the negotiating partners. These are two sovereign, independent nations. We are always going to support Kosovo. By support Kosovo, I do not mean that we are going to blindly agree to any idea that comes out of the government in Pristina,” he added. “But, we are going to support Kosovo in the effort to establish peace, prosperity, justice in the country and in the region. We do not see those goals as contradictory to a broader goal – wanting the same things for other countries in the region. I think it is important to emphasize that we are standing by to support the parties to come to a sustainable, mutually beneficial conclusion, but we are not writing the script,” Ambassador Kosnett stated.