US Embassy urges immediate steps for de-escalation in northern Kosovo

After more than a week of tension, a temporary deal has been brokered between Kosovo and Serbia, giving six months for a permanent solution to be found. [EPA-EFE/VALDRIN XHEMAJ]

“Good meeting with PM Kurti on the importance of reengaging in the EU-facilitated Dialogue to resolve license plates & other issues. Immediate steps are needed to de-escalate tensions. Actions can have unintended consequences adversely impacting everyday lives of citizens”, Nicholas J. Giacobbe, Chargé d’Affaires at US Embassy in Kosovo wrote, after he said he met Prime Minister Albin Kurti to discuss recent developments in northern Kosovo. Tensions increased after the introduction of reciprocity regarding vehicle plates prompting a protest by local Serbs.

Serbia has raised its troops’ combat readiness on the border with Kosovo amid increasing tensions with its breakaway former province, the Serbian Defence Minister said Thursday.

Serbian media reported that three Serb protesters have been severely beaten by Kosovo policemen, a claim vehemently denied by Kosovo authorities.

The Kosovo Police spokesperson, Baki Kelani, said the situation remains calm in northern Kosovo and no incidents have been reported overnight. “The situation remains unchanged. There are obstacles on both sides of the road. There is a segment of the road where protesters have dumped piles of gravel as barricades,” Kelani said.

(Željko Trkanjec | EURACTIV.hr)

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