Kosovo’s newly elected Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj has canceled a visit to the U.S. because he was unable to get a visa.
Local media in the capital Pristina reported Sunday that the U.S. Embassy had denied the visa request.
Haradinaj was supposed to attend events organized by the National Guard’s commanding officer in the state of Iowa, Major General Tim Orr, on Jan. 11.
A spokesperson for the Iowa National Guard, Colonel Greg Hapgood, told Radio Free Europe on Monday that it was a shame the visit could not be realized and that they could not get more information.
“It is incredibly unfortunate that he was unable to get a visa to come and join us. The explanation was that it’s just not going to happen in this time frame, and we did not get a lot of additional information” Hapgood said.
But Radio Free Europe said Haradinaj failed to get the visa after the international community, led by the U.S., expressed sharp opposition to Pristina’s intention to abolish a newly established War Crimes Chamber in Kosovo.
Haradinaj was detained in France in January 2017, accused of committing war crimes in June 1999 when he was commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army.
Serbia has demanded his extradition, but French courts have rejected the demand.
Haradinaj was later released on bail pending court proceedings.
His political coalition won the last parliamentary election in June 2017.
The 48-year-old was one of the key figures in the former Kosovo Liberation Army during the 1998-1999 war with Serb forces.