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Tensions in the North, EU appeals to Kosovo: Hold extraordinary elections

Tensions in the North, EU appeals to Kosovo: Hold extraordinary elections

The European Union demanded on Saturday that Kosovo immediately suspend police operations in the vicinity of municipal facilities in the north of Kosovo, and that the elected Albanian presidents perform their functions from alternative facilities.

"The extraordinary elections should be announced as soon as possible in all four municipalities, and they should be organized comprehensively. We expect Kosovo Serbs to participate in them".

In a statement of the European Union, issued by the chief diplomat of the EU, Josep Borrell, the violence that happened in the north days ago was condemned, and that Kosovo should take steps to reduce tensions. Local Serbs have been protesting regularly since May 29 in Zveçan, Leposaviq and Zubin Potik, to oppose the entry of the new Albanian mayors into the municipal buildings. On May 29, the protest escalated into violence between members of the NATO mission in Kosovo, KFOR and Serbian protesters.

"The European Union strongly condemns the violence against citizens, KFOR troops, law enforcement agencies and the media in the north of Kosovo. Violence could have been avoided, and should be avoided in the future. The European Union stands strongly behind the KFOR mission and the EULEX mission in fulfilling their respective mandates", the statement said.

"We invite both sides, Kosovo and Serbia, to immediately and unconditionally take measures to calm the situation, stop the divisive rhetoric and refrain from any other uncoordinated action. Calm must be restored urgently. The European Union is ready to implement strict measures. Failure to reduce tensions will result in negative consequences."

The international factor has made continuous calls for taking steps towards reducing tensions. Some diplomats have also requested the holding of new elections in the north. The President of Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani and the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti have given signs that something like this could happen.

"The European Union expects Kosovo and Serbia to act responsibly and engage immediately in the dialogue facilitated by the EU, to find a solution to the situation in the north, which guarantees security and participation for all citizens. Something like this paves the way for the implementation of the Agreement on the road to normalization and annexation. This also includes the launch, without any other delay, and without preconditions of the work to establish the Association of municipalities with a Serbian majority", it was said, among other things, in the call of the European bloc.

Kosovo and Serbia have reached agreement on the Association in 2013 and then in 2015 on the principles for its establishment. In 2015, the Constitutional Court of Kosovo found that the agreement is not in full harmony with the Constitution. Serbia demands that Kosovo implement the agreements reached, but the Government of Kosovo has declared against a mono-ethnic association. Kosovo and Serbia, with the mediation of the EU, started negotiations for the normalization of relations in 2011. The parties have signed several agreements, but not all of them have been implemented./rel

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