U.S. embassy supports Pristina's actions - spokesperson

A spokesperson for the U.S. embassy in Pristina has said that the United States "respects the right of Kosovo to manage its border."

Source: Beta
Members of the Kosovo police are seen at Donje Jarinje on Saturday (Tanjug)
Members of the Kosovo police are seen at Donje Jarinje on Saturday (Tanjug)

Quoting Pristina-based Albanian language daily Koha Ditore Beta agency on Monday reported that the spokesperson in this way "supported the actions of the Kosovo institutions and the sending of the special forces to the Jarinje (administrative line) crossing in order to stop a train that was traveling from Belgrade to Kosovo."

"The United States has recognized Kosovo as an independent and sovereign state in 2008 and we respect Kosovo's right to decide who and what crosses its border," Michelle Schohn told the daily, adding that she was "glad there were no conflicts at the border" on Saturday.

The spokesperson also said that the U.S. "strongly support the EU-facilitated dialogue as the best way to improve relations between Kosovo and Serbia."

A passenger train departed Belgrade on Sunday for Kosovska Mitrovica, causing negative reactions in Pristina, with Edita Tahiri, a Kosovo government member, asking the EU a day earlier to "ban its entry to Kosovo, as Belgrade was in this way trying to destabilize it."

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci said the arrival of the train - that was to reestablish direct service between the two cities after 18 years - was "contrary to the Kosovo Constitution" and that for this reason, "he ordered the train to be prevented at any price from entering Kosovo."

The train was decorated with images of frescoes from Serbian Orthodox holy places in Kosovo that are under UNESCO's protection, while the exterior had the message Kosovo is Serbia written in two dozen languages.

Beta said on Monday that the train did not arrive in Kosovo because the situation got complicated after video footage was published showing explosives placed on the railroad tracks, for which reason special forces of the Kosovo police, ROSU, arrived at Donje Jarinje.

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said late on Sunday that "conflict and victims" were avoided on Saturday "thanks to Belgrade's wisdom," while Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic said earlier the same day that if the lives of Serbs became endangered, he was prepared to send the army to Kosovo.

Kosovo PM Isa Mustafa thanked "the international community and the U.S." for their support, Beta said.


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