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Serbia and Kosovo accept a plan to normalize relations

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovar Prime Minister Albin Kurti have accepted an EU proposal to normalize their long-strained bilateral relations, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy said Monday, after mediation talks in Brussels.

He added that there is now a need for more negotiations to implement the agreement, which may be concluded by the end of next March, explaining that the two sides pledged not to take unilateral measures that could lead to tensions and endanger the agreement, noting that Vucic and Kurti showed responsible behavior.

“This agreement is above all for the citizens of Kosovo and Serbia,” he continued, noting that it provides for free movement of people between Kosovo and Serbia with their passports, identity cards and car number plates, among other things.

“The agreement could open up new economic prospects and attract more investments in Kosovo and Serbia,” Borrell said. “It would also boost trade, because certificates that were previously required for imports and exports are no longer necessary. In addition, the rights of Serbs in Kosovo should be properly protected.” better”.

Kosovo, now inhabited almost exclusively by Albanians, belonged to Serbia. After an armed uprising by Kosovo Albanians and massive human rights abuses by Serbian security forces, NATO bombed what was then a remnant of Yugoslavia, made up of Serbia and Montenegro, in the spring of 1999, and from 1999 to 2008 it administered United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) province.

And in 2008, the country declared itself independent. Serbia still does not recognize this step and claims sovereignty over its territory. Diplomatic efforts by the West have not led to any significant normalization of the situation in recent years.

Tensions between Serbs and Albanians in northern Kosovo escalated again at the end of 2022, after a former policeman of Serb origin was arrested on charges of inciting attacks on election commission officials. border to Serbia.

Germany and France presented a new mediation plan in the fall, which was subsequently adopted by the European Union.

source: 24