WASHINGTON, DC—Representative Eliot L. Engel, the top Democrat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement calling on the Government of Slovenia to release former Prime Minister of Kosovo Ramush Haradinaj who was detained recently on an old warrant from “Serbia and Montenegro,” a country that no longer exists:

“Ramush Haradinaj has been acquitted twice by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and should be free of such harassment. While I hope this action was a mistake, I think the Slovenian government and judicial system can go a long way toward rectifying the error by expeditiously allowing former Prime Minister Haradinaj to return home to Kosovo.

“But to ensure that such mistakes never recur, Belgrade needs to remove the Interpol ‘Red Notices’ which cause the problem in the first place. Serbia's actions are contrary to the goals of the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. If Serbia truly wants to demonstrate it is ready to normalize relations with Kosovo, it needs to end the witch hunt.”