Philip Reeker, Adviser to the Commander of the US Military Forces in Europe, who is soon expected to take up the post of Assistant Secretary of State for Europe, is staying in Skopje, urging the Kosovo government to suspend taxes on Serbian goods as a condition to continue the talks and find a solution.
“Kosovo does not cede anything by negotiating. But it risks everything by not negotiating, “said Mr. Reeker, adding that” he fears that the attitude of Kosovo has caused damage to relations with America “.
He also focused on the developments in Albania, saying that many efforts have been made on the path of reforms, but that corruption should be eradicated, the key rule-of-law institutions restructured and the reformed judiciary:
“Albania must fight organized crime and show that no one stands above the law, in order to open official talks on EU membership “.
Ambassador Reeker said all parties should show that share the same goals.
“The opposition went out on the street and relinquished the mandates; a lot of urgent work needs to be done within democratic processes. We urge all political leaders to demonstrate political will to engage in Albania’s democratic institutions to move reforms forward. And if the parties exercise the democratic right to protest, this must be done peacefully, “said Mr. Reeker.
Ambassador Philip Reeker, attended a conference in Skopje organized by the European Center for Security Studies, George Marshall and the Marshal Fund of Germany.
Ambassador Reeker talked about the agreement between North Macedonia and Greece, but without leaving aside the relations between Kosovo and Serbia. In his speech, Mr. Reeker noted the rapid need to lift taxes on Serbian goods.
Normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia under the European Union-assisted dialogue has been assessed as a historic and strategic priority of the United States.
He reiterated the call for Belgrade and Prishtina to lift the barriers of talks and allow the development of dialogue.
Mr. Reeker expressed his conviction that with the beginning of his new post as Assistant Secretary of State for Europe, there is a chance to make progress.
“We are not looking for the futile, but only the temporary suspension of taxes. Then we can see what can be achieved at the negotiating table. No agreement is signed without agreement on all aspects. Kosovo does not cede anything by negotiating. But it risks everything by not negotiating, “Ambassador Reeker said.
He also called on Belgrade, which he said was aggressive in rejecting Kosovo to focus on its strategic interests through a campaign to encourage states to attract Kosovo’s recognition and to block Kosovo’s membership in Kosovo.