Tensions in the North, Britain calls on Serbia to influence the calming of the situation
The British Minister for European Affairs, Leo Docherty, has strongly condemned the attacks on the Kosovo Police in Banjska t Zveçani. On September 27, he called on the authorities in Kosovo and Serbia to work together to bring the perpetrators of the attacks to justice.
"The United Kingdom continues to encourage constructive behavior in the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, as a key process for regional stability and security," said Docherty, who met with Serbian officials in Belgrade, Beta agency reports.
Docherty stayed in Belgrade as part of his tour of the Western Balkans. He met with the Serbian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ivica Dacic, and the Minister for European Integration, Tanja Miscevic, but also with Serbian legislators.
"The events on September 24 present real risks for regional stability. They stem from the accumulation of weapons and the failure to achieve progress in the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia, which aims to make all communities feel safe", said Docherty.
He called on Serbia to cooperate with the authorities in Kosovo and international partners so that the perpetrators of the attack can be brought to justice. The British minister also called on Serbia to use its influence in the north of Kosovo to de-escalate the situation and prevent more violence.
"The United Kingdom encourages Kosovo and Serbia to behave responsibly and in good faith to return to the dialogue facilitated by the European Union," the statement said.
Kosovo police were attacked by a masked and armed group as law enforcement tried to remove barricades that had been set up on a road in the village of Banjské i Zveçani - one of four municipalities in the north, inhabited by a majority of Serbs.
The armed group then took refuge in the Banjska monastery, from where they clashed with the police throughout Sunday.
A Kosovo policeman and three suspected attackers were killed in the attacks.
Kosovo has made Serbia responsible for the attack, while Belgrade officially blames the Kosovo Serbs.
The United States and the European Union have strongly condemned the attack and demanded that those responsible face justice./ REL