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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2004 > March
Press Statement (Revised)
Adam Ereli, Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
March 17, 2004


Outbreak of Violence in Kosovo

The U.S. strongly deplores the recent incidents of serious violence in Kosovo, involving clashes between the Albanian and Serb communities, which have caused death and injuries. We urge all of Kosovo's citizens to restore calm and in particular to cease blockading of transportation routes and other disruptive or violent actions. We call on Kosovo's political leaders to use their influence to urge their constituents to refrain from violence and express their views through peaceful means.

We ask that the people of Kosovo respect the Kosovo Force (KFOR), international police, the Kosovo Police Service, and cooperate with international efforts to investigate the drowning of ethnic Albanian youths in Mitrovica and yesterday's shooting of a Serb youth in Caglavica. We call on regional leaders and media outlets to react responsibly, report accurately, and support restoration of order and reconciliation in Kosovo.

The U.S. expresses its condolences to the families of the three ethnic Albanian youths who drowned last night; we deplore the shooting of the Serb youth Monday night and hope for his full recovery. The escalating violence threatens the process of democratization and reconciliation in Kosovo and must end.

2004/276

Released on March 17, 2004

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