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U.S. Lawmaker Calls On France To Release Kosovo's Ex-Prime Minister


A senior U.S. Democratic lawmaker has called on France to release Kosovo's former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, who he said was wrongly arrested on an Interpol warrant at Serbia's bidding on war crimes charges.

“It is unacceptable that Serbia is abusing Interpol to target" Haradinaj, Representative Eliot L. Engel, the senior Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said on January 6.

"This isn’t about the rule of law or justice. International tribunals have acquitted Mr. Haradinaj twice. This action only foments tensions and increases the likelihood of future conflict," Engel said.

Moreover, Engel said Serbia's use of an Interpol arrest warrant against Haradinaj amounts to "a fundamental violation" of Serbia's commitment to act in "good faith" to normalize ties with Kosovo as part of Belgrade's accession agreement with the European Union.

"The EU should not advance Serbia’s accession unless it returns to good faith normalization of relations with Kosovo," he said.

Kosovo, by contrast, has had "a very good record working with U.S. law enforcement" and "was widely praised recently for helping dismantle a serious terror threat to an Israeli sports team," he said.

Pristina should be rewarded by being admitted to Interpol, he said.

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