U.S. and EU special representatives for the Western Balkans, Gabriel Escobar and Miroslav Lajcak, respectively, called on June 20 on Belgrade and Pristina to focus on dialogue and contribute to deescalating the situation in north Kosovo, warning that unless they did this there would be repercussions for both sides.
During a discussion organized by the Atlantic Council's European Center, Escobar said that the crisis in north Kosovo "has the potential to become a regional conflict" and called on Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo Premier Albin Kurti "to unconditionally accept" a European three point plan for deescalation.
"There is no other option other than deescalation and a return to dialogue, the transatlantic community is very united over this. The idea of either of the two leaders naming conditions, after a plan that was very carefully defined by the EU, and in coordination with the U.S. is reckless," Escobar said.
Lajcak, the EU's special representative for dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, said that "I am not overly concerned" by Vucic's and Kurti's rhetoric in the past several days regarding a meeting that they were invited to attend by European high foreign affairs representative Josep Borrell, and voiced his conviction that they would come to Brussels.
"The word 'no' to the EU's invitation would be a very serious and negative act, which is why the meeting will be held. It is extremely important that there is deescalation, there can be no normalization when you have hundreds or thousands of people in the street," Lajcak said.
"If our demands are ignored, the next step are measures. The first step should come from the Kosovo government, to tell the new mayors (in north Kosovo) to work from alternative locations, while the next step after that is expected from Serbia. If Serbia does not do what needs to be done, negative measures will ensue," he added.