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Diplomatic envoys attempt to resolve Serbia-Kosovo tensions with talks in Pristina and Belgrade


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Diplomatic envoys visited Kosovo and Serbia on Friday as a part of their ongoing efforts to defuse tensions and assist safe a reconciliation settlement between the 2 former warfare foes.

Envoys from the US, the European Union, France, Germany and Italy first met with Prime Minister Albin Kurti in Kosovo.

They later met in Belgrade with President Aleksandar Vucic to debate doable subsequent steps towards normalising relations between Serbia and Kosovo.

Kosovo independence

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008.

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Serbia, with help from allies Russia and China, has refused to recognise Kosovo’s statehood, which is accepted by the US and far of the West.

The dispute stays a supply of instability within the Balkans amid Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

After greater than two hours of “lengthy, … not straightforward, however … very sincere, very open” talks with Kurti, EU envoy Miroslav Lajcak mentioned it was too quickly to announce any dramatic developments on a proposal offered to Pristina and Belgrade final 12 months.

“We had anticipated higher understanding of the alternatives this proposal affords,” mentioned Lajcak, a former overseas minister of Slovakia. “I hope we are going to get there, to full understanding and full use of the potential of this proposal.”

Tensions between Serbia and Kosovo

The EU has spent greater than a decade mediating dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade.

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No particulars of the newest proposal have been made public.

“We’re in the midst of our mission, and we proceed to Belgrade,” Lajcak mentioned.

After talks later with Vucic, Lajcak described the proposal as “the easiest way for the normalisation of relations between Serbia and Kosovo and for European integration of the area.”

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Vucic, Lajcak added, “demonstrated a accountable strategy and willingness to take tough choices within the curiosity of peace and European perspective for Serbia.”

“We really feel inspired,” he mentioned. “Our work will proceed at once.”

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Vucic mentioned in a separate assertion that he would maintain additional consultations inside Serbia within the coming days and “that we’re prepared to just accept the idea and work on the implementation of the proposed settlement,” although one half stays disputable.

Frozen battle

“We agreed that frozen battle isn’t an answer, as a result of when you will have a frozen battle, it is just a query of time when somebody will unfreeze it,” Vucic mentioned.

Final month, the Western powers participated in resolving a tense state of affairs in northern Kosovo, the place Serbs erected barricades on the primary roads to protest the arrest of a former Serb police officer.

The state of affairs within the north stays risky.

Only some dozen law enforcement officials of the EU rule of regulation mission, generally known as EULEX, are taking good care of the world’s safety in any case ethnic Serb representatives resigned from their posts in November.

Serbia’s bloody crackdown in opposition to Kosovo Albanian separatists in 1999 ended with a 78-day NATO bombing marketing campaign, which additionally pushed Serbian troops, police and paramilitary forces out of Kosovo.


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