News 04 Aug 11

Solution to North Kosovo Crisis "In Sight"

Serbian government representatives have announced that a solution to the crisis in northern Kosovo could be found today.

Beta / Tanjug
Kosovska Mitrovica

A meeting between representatives of the Serbian government and municipal presidents is expected to take place in Zvecan today to discuss details of a preliminary agreement aimed at improving relations on Kosovo’s northern border with Serbia.

Under the draft agreement, which was put together by Borislav Stefanovic, Serbian Minister for Kosovo Goran Bogdanovic and KFOR Commander Erhard Buehler, roadblocks would be removed and freedom of movement restored at the border points.

The agreement envisages that KFOR maintain control over the Brnjak and Jarinje border posts until mid-September although it was announced that “if necessary, this deadline can be extended”.  Passenger vehicles, trucks of up to 3.5 tonnes and lorries carrying humanitarian aid - including food - would be able to pass after passing security checks. In return, local Serbs would remove road blocks in the north.

A statement from KFOR added that the KFOR commander "was given full authority from all institutions taking part" and the agreement could be implemented in the next few days.
Serbian negotiators Stefanovic and Bogdanovic confirmed yesterday that the talks had yielded "positive results".

"Look at our smiling faces and you will know the result," they told Serbs gathered at the barricade in Leposavic after their meeting.

"The talks were long. They went in a positive direction and tomorrow I expect a result," Stefanovic told Tanjug, without offering further details.

Bogdanovic again called on all sides to refrain from violence and appealed to the people of northern Kosovo to stay dignified and committed to a peaceful solution to the crisis. 

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