EU calls on Serb and Kosovo leaders not to “escalate tensions”

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EU calls on Serb and Kosovo leaders not to "escalate tensions"

The European Union has called on Kosovo and Serbian leaders to refrain from escalatory statements about the possibility of conflict in the Western Balkans

“The recent provocative statements by the authorities of Kosovo and Serbia about war and conflict, particularly in the Western Balkans, are a matter of great concern,” the office of Josep Borrell, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said in a statement.

The statement emphasized that politicians on both sides will be held responsible for the events that will lead to further violence and tension in the region and said, “Both sides should immediately stop mutual hostility and dangerous statements and act responsibly.”

The statement emphasized that Serbia and Kosovo can address all issues in the EU-facilitated dialogue process aimed at normalizing relations.

Kosovo-Serbia tensions

Serbs in Kosovo reacted to the announcement that everyone, including Serbs living in Kosovo, would be obliged to have a Kosovo identity card and license plate, blocking border crossings in the north of the country and tensions increased in the country at the end of July.

The Kosovo government decided to postpone the implementation, which caused a crisis with Serbia, until September 1, after all the barricades placed on the roads leading to the border crossings with Serbia were removed.

Following the escalation of tensions, Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti said that the risk of a new conflict between Kosovo and Serbia was high, while Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic claimed that the Kosovo administration was planning to attack the north of the country where Serbs live.

Serbia considers Kosovo, which unilaterally declared independence in 2008, as its territory.

Kurti and Vucic are scheduled to meet in Brussels on August 18 following the tension. The two leaders are expected to meet separately with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg the day before.

In a statement made by NATO-KFOR on August 1, it was stated that the security situation in the north of Kosovo was tense and that “KFOR is closely monitoring the situation and is ready to intervene if stability is jeopardized.”


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