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Quint and EU Statement on the Government of Kosovo’s May 13 Decision Not to Allow Entry of Serbian Orthodox Church Patriarch and Accompanying Clergy

The Embassies of France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States and the European Union Office in Kosovo are concerned by the decision of the Government of Kosovo not to allow Patriarch Porfirije of the Serbian Orthodox Church and his accompanying bishops to enter Kosovo to attend the ceremonial start of the regular annual assembly of the Synod at the Patriarchate of Pec/Peja.

The Government’s decision is contrary to the provisions of the Ahtisaari Plan, which clearly prescribes rights, privileges, and immunities for the clergy of the Serbian Orthodox Church, and is not consistent with Kosovo’s obligations in the EU Dialogue.

We expect the Government of Kosovo to meet the highest human rights standards both in its legal framework and in its actions, act in the interests of all its citizens, and uphold its core values and responsibility towards regional stability.

We continue to call upon both parties to refrain from any actions and rhetoric that could increase tensions and may lead to incidents.