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Italian National Day in Kosovo, Ambassador De Riu calls for de-escalation

Italian Ambassador to Kosovo, Antonello De Riu, speaking at the reception held last night in Pristina for the Republic Day, noted how this year’s holiday coincides with the new tensions in northern Kosovo, which have resulted in the injuring of several KFOR (NATO Kosovo Force) soldiers. “On my personal behalf and on behalf of the Italian Government, I express full solidarity to the Italian, Hungarian and Moldovan soldiers who were injured in the recent clashes in Zvecan, along with the strongest condemnation of violence against the KFOR mission”, De Riu said at the reception, which was also attended by Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti.

“NATO and our military personnel will remain to ensure stability and prevent the situation from further deteriorating”, De Riu added, stating that it is essential to “avoid further unilateral actions by the parties involved, take a step back and contribute to easing tensions. The Italian government will continue to work to restore calm and promote the resuming of dialogue in close coordination with our allies, starting with the EU and Quint countries”.

“Peace and reconciliation – Italian Ambassador remarked – are part of a single process, and dialogue with Belgrade facilitated by the EU remains essential towards reaching an agreement on the normalization of relations that is comprehensive and legally binding, in line with the principles of the European Union, especially in light of the significant results achieved in Brussels and Ohrid in February and March.”

The event hosted by the Embassy was attended by numerous ministers, MPs, representatives of civil society, entrepreneurs and media. In addition to current issues, the evening focused on assessing a year of bilateral relations and discussing new cultural and economic initiatives in order to bring more of Italy to Kosovo and viceversa.