Kosovo’s newly appointed Prime Minister, Ramush Haradinaj has approached the United States and asked it to play role in talks between Kosovo and Serbia.
According to Reuters, Haradinaj on Monday urged the US, Kosovo’s main ally to become involved in EU-sponsored talks between Kosovo and Serbia aimed at settling their differences.
Haradinaj said US participation was vital to move the talks forward.
“A US role is necessary for peace,” Haradinaj, a former guerrilla leader told Reuters. “We see a US role at the table as an essential necessity.”
The talks should conclude with mutual statehood recognition “between Kosovo and Serbia,” he said.
Kosovo Albanians see the United States as their main ally since the start of their struggle for independence in the late 1990s.
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, almost ten years after NATO air strikes drove out Serbian forces accused of killing and expelling ethnic Albanian civilians during a counter-insurgency war.
Kosovo has been recognized by 115 countries, including 23 of the EU’s 28 members. But its UN membership is blocked by Serbia’s allies Russia and China.
Serbia refuses to recognize independence of Kosovo, its former province, but it has committed to EU-supported talks in order to accelerate its own accession to the EU bloc. Since 2013 the two countries have reached a series of agreements but few have been implemented so far and the talks themselves have been stalled since this spring.
Haradinaj said by the end of the year, his government would sign a deal with the US power company Contour Global for a billion euro coal-fired power plant project.
The New York-based company was the only bidder for the 660 megawatt (MW) plant that will replace the Balkan country’s 40-year-old Kosovo A power plant.
“It will have a clean and advanced technology and it will guarantee enough power for the next 20 years,” Haradinaj said.
Kosovo still faces power shortages in winter with its two ageing coal-fired power plants under strain to meet demand.