Published: Fri, May 12, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

US pledges support for Kosovo, European Union hopes

US pledges support for Kosovo, European Union hopes

The 2 ½-year-old governing coalition was made up of Mustafa's Democratic League of Kosovo, which holds the second-largest number of seats in the 120-seat parliament. The EU says it can not proceed with visa liberalisation for Kosovo - an importance issue for the country - until the border issue is laid to rest.

The Kosovo Assembly has approved today by a majority a motion of suspicion against the government of Prime Minister, Isa Mustafa, with which new parliamentary elections will be convened for next month.

He has invited political parties to a consultation, and is now expected to set a date for a parliamentary election within 30 to 45 days.

The main trigger for the confidence vote, held Wednesday, was a border demarcation deal with neighbouring Montenegro, the final condition for obtaining visa-free travel in the European Union.

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The debate before the vote clearly showed the two governing partners were not getting along.

The opposition also fiercely opposes this deal.

Kosovo has one of the highest unemployment rates in the SEE region.

The government hasn't had enough lawmakers to pass the deal, which was signed in 2015, and Mustafa withdrew the draft bill past year.

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Kosovo's political crisis has also been fuelled by another agreement, reached with former foe Serbia in mid-2015, that envisages political autonomy for the Serb minority.

The opposition has claimed that Kosovo would be required to cede some 8,000 hectares of territory, mostly forested highland, to Montenegro, although the government and others, including the United States, say this is not the case. It will also temporarily stall EU-sponsored talks between Kosovo and Serbia, which are crucial for both countries to make progress towards joining the EU.

However, the chairman of the PDK's parliamentary group, Zenun Pajaziti, implied that numerous successes of the current government were down to previous administrations led by his party. Under the agreement between the two parties, Mustafa was appointed prime minister while his predecessor, PDK leader Hashim Thaci, became president when the incumbent Atifete Jahjaga's term ended in 2016.

The three parties now in opposition, together with the LDK, initially tried to form a government and force out the PDK, which has been in power since Kosovo gained its independence from Serbia in 2008.

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