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The UN secretary general has told Kosovo leaders to preserve the country’s stability and solve all problems through dialogue.
At a meeting held in New York, Ban Ki-moon has told Kosovo’s President Atifete Jahjaga and Prime Minister Hashim Thaci that the European Union’s role in the Balkans region is essential, and its guidance should be followed.
“It is important for Kosovo to maintain stability... all issues should be solved by peaceful means. The entire region should look ahead to Euro-Atlantic integrations,” Ki-moon is quoted as saying in the press release issued after the meeting by the Kosovo side.
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia on February 17, 2008. Since then 89 states, including 22 EU member states and the US, have recognized it.
Serbia and Kosovo started EU-mediated talks in Brussels in March 2011, three years after Kosovo declared independence, which Serbia refuses to recognise.
President Atifete Jahjaga accused Serbia of jeopardizing Kosovo’s security and territorial integrity by continuing to finance illegal Serb structures in the northern part of Kosovo.
She said that such security structures keep frightening the ordinary Kosovo Serbs, with whom the Albanian-led government in Pristina wants to have a dialogue.
“We are determined to continue the dialogue with the Serb citizens in this part of the country to find ways to include them in the institutional life,” she is quoted saying in the press release.
Northern Kosovo, which borders with Serbia and is ethnically predominantly Serbian, does not recognise Kosovo's independence or the government in Pristina.
Serbia’s Prime Minister Ivica Dacic said on Saturday that he thinks that the partition is the only real possible solution for solving Kosovo’s status issue.
But Kosovo leaders rejected such idea a long time ago, saying that the change of borders in the Balkans is a dangerous game.
Serbia’s President Tomislav Nikolic will also have a meeting on Monday with UN’s chief Ban Ki-moon, and the Kosovo talks issue is part of the agenda.
Officials have launched a week-long series of events aimed at raising awareness about tolerance, reconciliation and peaceful coexistence between different religious faiths in Kosovo.
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.
The Serbian paramilitary who became a key prosecution witness at his former comrades’ trial for war crimes in Kosovo says he had to speak out about the brutal massacres his unit committed.
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.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has invited the Serbian and Kosovo prime ministers to a meeting next week to discuss how to implement their Brussels-brokered deal.
NATO’s Kosovo force warned that only authorised policing groups are allowed to carry weapons in northern Kosovo, not Serb-organised ‘civil defence’ units.
Former high-ranking Serbian interior ministry official Vlastimir Djordjevic admitted war crimes were committed against Kosovo Albanians during the 1999 conflict and apologised to civilian victims.
Lawmakers were advised to find different ways of remembering wartime fighters and victims after a series of parliamentary sessions commemorating individual ‘martyrs’.
Serbia's Deputy Prime Minister and leaders in the Serb-run north of Kosovo have reached an agreement on the implementation of the EU-brokered deal.
Several thousand people assembled in Belgrade’s main square, accusing Serbia’s top leaders of high treason for the recent EU brokered-deal with Kosovo.
Kosovo's authority will be introduced to Serb-run northern Kosovo in three stages, BIRN can reveal, as Kosovo Serb leaders warn the EU-backed plan may prompt them to emigrate.