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US Agency Resumes Aid To Kosovo following Lifting Of Reciprocity In Trade With Serbia

US Agency Resumes Aid To Kosovo following Lifting Of Reciprocity In Trade With Serbia
Kosovo and U.S. flags decorate the main square in Pristina, Kosovo, on Feb. 17, on the 10th anniversary of the country’s independence from Serbia

The Millennium Challenge Corporation, a US foreign aid agency, has announced the resumption of its suspended aid to Kosovo following the lifting of reciprocity measures by Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti.

In a press release, MCC welcomed “the resolution of Kosovo’s tariff issue and the lifting of reciprocal measures on Serbian goods,” and announced it is “pleased to resume implementing the threshold program and developing the proposed compact program in Kosovo.”

The MCC is one of the US foreign aid agencies. It was established by the Congress in 2004, and it is independent from the State Department and the USAID.

The MCC suspended its aid to Kosovo in March, as part of the increasing pressure by the US administration on the Kurti Government to drop the 100 percent tariffs on Serbian goods immediately and unconditionally, 

In a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, two US politicians called out the government for using the MCC as a bludgeon and a transactional pressure tool, noting it exerts political pressure on a diplomatic dispute.

Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti lifted reciprocity measures with Serbia on Saturday. The measures imposed by the Kurti government demanded Serbian authorities and companies to write “Republic of Kosovo” as country of destination on export documentation. Now they can avoid using Kosovo’s official name, and use others that imply Kosovo is a part of Serbia.

President Hashim Thaçi said this was “another good news” for Kosovo, following the lifting of reciprocity. He added that “permanent partnership with Washington is the only path that leads to a secure future for Kosovo, peace and prosperity for citizens”.

In a statement for Radio Free Europe, the US Embassy in Kosovo called for the dialogue with Serbia to resume as soon as possible. 

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