Western powers won’t mediate Kosovo’s domestic politics

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PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Western powers said Tuesday they would not get involved in mediation between Kosovo’s two mainwinningparties in the last election that have yet not concluded coalition talks.

A statement from the embassies of France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom and the United States said they did not support any particular political party and would “not engage in mediation.”

“We encourage all political actors in Kosovo to focus on the aspirations of the people of Kosovo,” it said.

Following failed coalition talks on Monday, the left-wing Self-Determination Movement, which came first in Kosovo’s Oct. 6 early election, posted in its Facebook page that they agreed with the center-right Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK, to hold their next meeting with ambassadors from the Western powers and the EU mission chief.

The Self-Determination Movement’s Albin Kurti, who has been nominated as the next prime minister, has been unable to form a new Cabinet. He has disagreed with the LDK on who will be appointed Kosovo’s new president in 2021.

Kurti’s party won 29 seats in the 120-seat parliament while the LDK has 28. Kurti needs to form a new Cabinet by Feb. 4 or the country may go to an early election.

LDK is also claiming the post of speaker, which Kurti’s party already took at the parliament’s first session in December.

To avoid a minority government, Kurti will also need the support of smaller parties. Kosovo’s constitution says the Cabinet also should include a representative of the ethnic Serb minority.

Kosovo gained independence after a NATO bombing campaign that followed a bloody Serb crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists in 1998-99. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and it is recognized by more than 100 countries, but not by Serbia.

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