EU attempts to mediate to settle the conflict between Serbia and Kosovo have failed. Neither side could agree on a solution.
EU efforts to de-escalate tensions between Serbia and Kosovo have so far failed. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that he did not accept Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti’s proposal to de-escalate tensions during mediation talks in Brussels on Monday, after nearly eight hours of negotiations.
Stoltenberg: NATO troops in Kosovo remain vigilant
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic supported him. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stressed that climbing should be avoided in the evening. NATO-Kosovo force remains vigilant.
According to Borrell, the EU proposal provided a compromise to resolve the Kosovo government’s dispute over a new license plate regulation. At the same time, the EU foreign policy representative warned of the possible consequences of failed negotiations.
Serbian police officers resign in protest
The dispute over license plates has recently forced police officers from EU mission Eulex to maintain security in northern Kosovo, where mostly Serbs live. Serb police officers in northern Kosovo had previously resigned from the Kosovo police force to protest the regulation.
The new regulation of the government in Pristina stipulates that license plates from Serbia can no longer be used in Kosovo. The measure affects several thousand Kosovo Serbs living in the Serbian enclave around the town of Kosovska Mitrovica in northern Kosovo, often still driving vehicles with Serbian license plates.
Additionally, passengers from Serbia have to replace their badges with temporary Kosovo license plates at the border. With the regulation, Kosovo reacted to the fact that Serbia did not recognize the license plates brought by Kosovo after the declaration of independence in 2008.
License plate dispute: EU offers reconciliation
According to Borrell, the compromise proposed by the EU stipulates, among other things, that authorities in Kosovo suspend measures to enforce the rules. On the other hand, Serbia should undertake not to issue new license plates to people living in Kosovo.
The EU has been trying to clarify the relationship between Serbia and Kosovo for years. Mostly Albanians live in Kosovo. The region, which separated from Serbia in 1999 with the help of NATO, declared its independence in 2008.
More than 100 countries, including Germany, have recognized Kosovo’s independence. Others, including Serbia, Russia, China and five EU countries, have not done so to date.
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