US Deputy Assistant Secretary Matthew Palmer interview with Koha Dritore:
“Koha Ditore: It would be no surprise to you that the Dialogue with Serbia is the main topic, not only of this interview, but in general in the last several months. And there has been a lot of talk about possible solutions, and you yourself have also said, and other U.S. officials have said that nothing is determined, that you are open to any sort of solution, but there are no blank checks—that’s the wording I hear was used. So where does this leave the actual talk that we are having which is about the possible land swap, is it within the acceptable? Or maybe, is it part of what the blank checks are all about?
DAS Palmer: Let me challenge you a little bit if I might in terms of what these talks are about. What the United States wants to see is an agreement on the full, comprehensive normalization of the relationship between Pristina and Belgrade, between Kosovo and Serbia. That is necessarily going to be a multi-dimensional agreement: there is going to be a political component to it, there will be a security component to it, there will be a part of it about economics, trade, cultural issues, and property. There’s a wide range of concerns that would need to be addressed and resolved as part of a comprehensive agreement. Whether or not border corrections, exchange of territory, is a part of that, I think, is a little bit misleading to say that that’s what it’s about. It’s comprehensive. Our position is that we want to encourage the parties to negotiate the best possible deal they can…to come up with a solution that is locally-owned, that’s durable, that’s implementable and salable on both sides. We have told the leadership on both sides that we have no redlines, that we’re not excluding areas of discussion for the dialogue…for the parties. But neither does that mean we will blindly accept whatever it is that can be agreed. We want to see them negotiate the best deal they can, put it on the table, let’s take a look at it, and if we have concerns about the specifics, we will articulate those concerns and see if we can work through them.” (Full Interview: US Embassy Kosovo)
Interview with Kosovo Serb outlet, Radio KiM:
“Goran Avramovic: Has, in your opinion, the U.S. policy toward the Western Balkans changed after you assumed the position of acting Deputy Assistant Secretary?
Deputy Assistant Secretary Matthew Palmer: U.S. policy in the Western Balkans has been consistent over the years. We support the integration of the countries of the Western Balkans into European and Euro-Atlantic institutions. That means, for all the countries in the Western Balkans, eventual membership in the European Union and for all those countries that desire, which is functionally all except Serbia, membership in NATO as well. We support peace, prosperity, cooperation amongst nations, and a European future for the region.” (Full Interview: US Embassy Kosovo)
“Haradinaj took to Facebook to inform that he has met with the Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Montenegrin Prime Minister Dusko Markovic.
The Prime Minister of Kosovo Ramush Haradinaj is participating at the Economic Conference in Budva, Montenegro.
Haradinaj took to Facebook to inform that he has met with the Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Montenegrin Prime Minister Dusko Markovic.” (RTK)
“In the late 1990s, Kosovo, then a part of Yugoslavia, was the site of a bitter year-long war between Yugoslav and Serb forces; its public spaces, as they often are in times of violence, were repurposed. The Pristina train station, in Kosovo’s north, served as an arrival point for refugees streaming in from across the region. People slept in the halls, women gave birth there, and others were treated for injuries.
A few years later, in 2002, a group of Kosovar and Serbian party-goers, armed with camcorders and turntables and dressed in halter tops and cargo pants boarded The Road of Peace Train. They left that same Pristina station for Skopje, having a non-stop dance party through former Yugoslavia, spinning Detroit house and ‘90s electronica for hours.”(Conde Nest Traveller)