EU summons Kosovo and Serbia leaders for emergency talks amid fears of a return to open battle
The European Union has summoned the leaders of Serbia and Kosovo for emergency talks to attempt to deliver an finish to a collection of violent clashes close to their border
ByLORNE COOK Related Press
BRUSSELS — The European Union has summoned the leaders of Serbia and Kosovo for emergency talks on Thursday to attempt to deliver an finish to a collection of violent clashes close to their border that’s fueling fears of a return to open battle.
EU international coverage chief Josep Borrell mentioned that he would maintain “pressing conferences” with Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in Brussels. It was unclear whether or not the 2 would meet face-to-face, or solely maintain separate talks with Borrell.
“We want quick de-escalation and new elections within the north with participation of Kosovo Serbs. That is paramount for the area and (the) EU,” Borrell tweeted forward of the talks. The 27-nation bloc has for years been main talks geared toward reconciling the 2 foes, however with little success.
Serbia and its former province Kosovo have been at odds for many years. Their 1998-99 battle left greater than 10,000 individuals lifeless, principally Kosovo Albanians. Belgrade has refused to acknowledge Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence.
Tensions flared anew final month after Kosovo police seized native municipality buildings in northern Kosovo, the place Serbs characterize a majority, to put in ethnic Albanian mayors who had been elected in a neighborhood election that Serbs overwhelmingly boycotted.
Serbia has put its troops on the border on the best state of alert amid a collection of current clashes between Kosovo Serbs on one aspect and Kosovo police and NATO-led peacekeepers on the opposite. In current weeks, NATO has despatched in reinforcements.
The tensions endured final week with three shock grenades exploding close to Kosovo police stations within the north of the nation, whereas Kosovo Serbs staged protests in entrance of municipality buildings.
Borrell had been attempting for a number of days to attempt to get Kurti and Vucic to come back to Brussels however that they had refused till now.
Nonetheless, Vucic mentioned that he gained’t be speaking to Kurti in Brussels. “I’ve nothing to speak to him about,” he informed the state RTS broadcaster. Vucic has mentioned there could be no negotiations till Serbs who’ve been arrested by Kosovo police for assaults on Kosovo police and NATO-led peacekeepers are launched.
Simply 4 months in the past, Borrell had made issues appear so promising. He exited conferences with the pair to announce that Serbia and Kosovo had given their tacit approval to a EU-sponsored plan to finish months of political crises and assist enhance their ties longer-term.
However the “deal” unraveled virtually instantly as each leaders appeared to renege on commitments that Borrell instructed that they had made.
Dusan Stojanovic in Belgrade contributed.