Head of Italian diplomacy: We are working to strengthen the presence of KFOR on the Kosovo-Serbia border
The head of Italian diplomacy, Antonio Tajani, warned of the reinforcement of the presence of NATO troops on the Kosovo-Serbia border, to prevent further clashes, amid concerns about the renewal of violence in the region.
He made this warning on the X network, known until recently as Twitter, in which he said he had a conversation with the president (of Serbia, Aleksandar). Vucic and with Prime Minister (of Kosovo Albin) Kurti, calling for the encouragement of dialogue between the parties.
"In agreement with (Italian Minister of Defense) Guido Crosetto we work to strengthen the presence of KFOR on the border between Serbia and Kosovo and prevent further clashes," the post says.
The warning followed Sunday's clashes in the village of Banjské in northern Kosovo, where a group of masked people in military uniforms attacked Kosovo police, killing one officer and injuring another.
The group then forced their way into the Orthodox monastery in the village of Banjska, continuing to shoot at the police. The fight ended when most of the attackers escaped. Three of the armed attackers were killed, while six people were arrested.
The attack was described as a terrorist act by Kosovo institutions and Western diplomats. Prime Minister Kurti said that the armed group had the support of the authorities in Serbia, while Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic denied any connection with the group.
On Monday, the European envoy for the Kosovo-Serbia talks, Miroslav Lajcak, and the diplomatic advisers of the leaders of France, Germany and Italy, as well as the American special envoy for the Western Balkans, Gabriel Escobar, discussed the situation in Kosovo and the talks between the parties.
“Concise and very substantial consultations with the main diplomatic advisers (of France, Emmanuel) Bonne, (of Germany, Jens) Plotner, (of Italy, Francesco) Talo and envoy Escobar. We discussed the next steps in the implementation of the Agreement towards normalization and the situation in the north. Grateful for their support", Mr. Lajçak wrote.
EU officials said he has been pushing for new meetings in Pristina and Belgrade in an effort to renew talks, the last round of which, held on September 14 in Brussels, failed to make any progress.
Sunday's attack marks one of the worst incidents in Kosovo since the end of the 1998-1999 war that ended with NATO intervention to end atrocities by Serbian forces in Kosovo.
Nine years after the end of the war, Kosovo declared its independence with the support of the United States and major Western countries, but is opposed by Serbia and its ally Russia.