US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the Kosovo authorities to revoke the 100 percent tariffs imposed on goods from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the State Department said in a press release.
Speaking during a meeting in Washington with Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, Pompeo said that Pristina should “seize this unique window of opportunity to reach a historic comprehensive normalization deal” with Serbia under the European Union-facilitated dialogue process.
“He called the Kosovo authorities to rescind the tariffs placed on imports from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and work with Serbia to avoid provocations and de-escalate tensions,” the press release said.
Pompeo said the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia is the only way to clear the path for “the both countries’ future integration into the western community of nations”, adding that Washington is prepared to help and support both sides in “reaching a solution that is durable, implementable and increases stability”.
A statement from the Kosovo president’s cabinet quoted Thaci as saying that “the US support Kosovo in reaching a comprehensive agreement with Serbia which opens the way to mutual recognition and Kosovo’s membership in NATO, the EU and UN”.
According to that statement, Thaci said that US support is crucial to an agreement and the creating of a higher level of internal consensus in Kosovo. “The common conclusion is that if we do not use this historic moment we risk falling into a dangerous cycle not just in Kosovo but in the region which is why the only way to close the issue of the Balkans is to reach a final agreement between Kosovo and Serbia,” Thaci said.
Thaci is quoted as saying that they discussed a new mandate for the Kosovo Security Forces as a multi-ethnic force as well as regional cooperation.