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"They are endangering European integration", Blinken appeals to Kosovo and Serbia to take steps to reduce tensions

"They are endangering European integration", Blinken appeals to Kosovo

The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, once again called on Kosovo and Serbia to take immediate steps to reduce tensions in the north of Kosovo. He warned that the current situation hinders the Euro-Atlantic integration processes for both countries.

Speaking after a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Oslo, Blinken said many allies expressed concern about tensions in northern Kosovo.

Tensions in northern Kosovo increased as early as May 26, when Kosovo Police helped Albanian mayors of Serb-majority municipalities enter municipal offices, despite resistance from local residents.

Blinken has expressed his concerns regarding the situation created in the north of Kosovo several times, calling on both Kosovo and Serbia to return to the dialogue mediated by the European Union, for the normalization of relations.

On May 29, clashes between Serbian protesters opposing the mayors and KFOR soldiers in Zvecan left 30 soldiers injured, as well as dozens of protesters.

NATO has said that it is ready to send even more troops to Kosovo to calm the violence in the north of the country, inhabited by a majority of Serbs, the head of the alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, said on Thursday. He added that the first 700 reinforcement troops are already on their way to Kosovo.

The new Albanian mayors of the municipalities of North Mitrovica, Zveçan, Zubin Potok and Leposaviq have emerged from the extraordinary elections of April 23, which were boycotted by the Serbian community./REL

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