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news 17 Dec 12

Serbia's Top Officials Agree on Kosovo

Serbian officials confirmed a united stance on Kosovo while the President is set to present his Kosovo platform in the upcoming days.

Tanjug, B92 Belgrade

Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic said that the country's top officials agreed on Sunday night a unified state policy on Kosovo.

EULEX blocks protest by business community

In the Serb-run Kosovo north EULEX police officers stopped a group of Serb businessmen who wanted to set a blockade in protest at the Jarinje border crossing.

They were halted by EULEX police officers who rolled out barbed wire, set obstacles on the Raska-Leposavic main road in front of Jarinje.

EULEX national spokesperson Blerim Krasniqi told BIRN that the protest ended peacefully.

“There were no incidents, and EULEX was on the spot during the entire protest,” he said.

The local business community said they do not want to pay taxes to the Kosovo institutions and asked for their businesses to again be a part of the Serbian VAT system.

They cited the conclusions of one of the last government sessions, according to which customs duties will not be collected at the Jarinje and Brnjak crossings.

"There is complete unity on the most important questions between the two largest parties in the ruling coalition," Dacic of the Socialists told reporters.

"The gravity of the situation ..imposes the necessity for unity and political stability," Dacic said adding that the biggest parties are prepared to cooperate when it comes to Kosovo.

The government coalition is made up of the Progressive party, the Socialists and the United Regions of Serbia.

The meeting came after Kosovo and Serbia PMs made a breakthrough deal in Brussels on December 4 on the implementation of the deal on integrated border management, IBM, and in appointing liaison officers in both Belgrade and Pristina.

Apart from Dacic, other state officials that attended the four-hour long meeting included: Deputy PM Aleksandar Vucic, President Tomislav Nikolic, his foreign policy adviser Marko Djuric, Parliamentary Speaker Nebojsa Stefanovic as well as several ministers.

No details have been released about what the state policy on Kosovo entails.

In the meantime, President Nikolic is expected to meet with parliamentary whips in the second half of next week to present the long-awaited platform for Kosovo, Tanjug news agency has reported.

"The platform is ready, all that is left is for the President to schedule a meeting," a high-ranking official who wanted to remain anonymous told Tanjug.

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