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Kosovo and Serbia working groups, dealing with implementation of the Integrated Border Management deal, on Thursday agreed in Brussels to put what they had agreed into action.
Kosovo and Serbia vowed to honour a deal reached earlier on Integrated Border Management under the auspices of the EU-facilitated dialogue and agreed to implement a set of tasks as soon as possible.
“The working groups have defined the duties and responsibilities that both parties ... have over the agreement,” a press release from the Kosovo government on Thursday said.
The two sides reached an agreement on management of border crossings in Brussels on December 2, 2011.
However, the issue is controversial in Serbia, which does not recognise Kosovo's independence declared in 2008.
The deal formed part of the EU-mediated Pristina-Belgrade talks, which started in March 2011. Serbia has not implemented the agreement since then.
While Pristina says the border agreement reached in Brussels means that Belgrade has effectively recognised Kosovo's independence, Serbia says it means no such thing.
Following Thursday’s meeting in Brussels, the Serbian government issued no comment.
“Kosovo is engaged in intensifying the implementation of the IBM and has asked the EU, as mediator of the process, to increase its engagement in this direction,” the Kosovo government said.
The meeting at working-group level in Brussels is the first of its kind since both parties signed the deal.
The basic principle of the IBM is that all the relevant authorities and agencies involved in border security and trade on both sides of the frontier work together in coordination.
Under the terms of the deal, Kosovo and Serbian customs and police officers will stand under one roof once the agreement is put into operation.
Police from the EU rule-of-law mission, EULEX, are expected to observe the two sides jointly managing the cross-border flow of goods and passengers.
As Kosovo parliamentarians prepare to vote on the EU-brokered deal between Pristina and Belgrade, the opposition Vetevendosje [Self-Determination] movement set alight copies of the agreement.
Belgrade and Pristina have failed to make headway during negotiations on an international dialling code for Kosovo and a licence for a Serbian mobile phone operator in Kosovo.
The Red Cross appealed for new information to help find the bodies of Kosovo’s 1,700 wartime missing, but their families accused Serbia of concealing the locations of graves.
Leaders of Serbia and Kosovo have agreed on a harmonized plan to implement the recent Brussels-led agreement, the EU foreign policy chief announced.
Ahead of Tuesday’s meeting between Kosovo and Serbia, German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle urged both sides to take real steps to implement their EU-brokered agreement.
As Pristina and Belgrade seek agreement on implementing their EU-brokered deal, Albanian leaders in Serbia’s Presevo Valley are urging the Kosovo authorities to help them win more rights.
Despite two failed meetings about the implementation of the EU-brokered deal between Kosovo and Serbia, officials hope that prime ministerial talks next week will see progress.
NATO’s Kosovo force warned that only authorised policing groups are allowed to carry weapons in northern Kosovo, not Serb-organised ‘civil defence’ units.
After the two delegations failed to agree an action plan, the Serbian Prime Minister said the EU-led deal will be finalised following direct meetings with his Kosovo counterpart.
Pristina and Belgrade delegations hold their second meeting in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss implementing the EU-led agreement on normalizing relations.
Serbia’s former top official for Kosovo says only Belgrade can pursue Serbs in North to respect EU-brokered agreement.
Serbian parliament gave the green light for the EU-backed agreement on the integration of the Serb minority in Kosovo when it adopted the government’s report on the Belgrade, Pristina talks.
Aleksandar Vucic, Serbian deputy prime minister, said the government will meet the request of Serbs from Kosovo and call a referendum on the Belgrade-Pristina deal.
Teams from Kosovo and Serbia have headed to Brussels to agree on implementing the recently agreed EU-led deal.
After a long and tense debate on Sunday night that was interrupted by protests, parliament in Pristina voted for the deal with Belgrade on the future of Serb-run northern Kosovo.
Belgrade and Pristina finally agreed on the future of Serb-run North Kosovo in the tenth round of EU-led talks on Friday.