EU to hold emergency talks with Kosovo-Serbia as deadline looms –


Amid the looming license plate deadline, EU’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell has known as an emergency assembly between Kosovo and Serbian representatives on Monday (21 November), EURACTIV has learnt.

The assembly, which may see Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti and Serbia’s President Aleksander Vucic meet in Brussels newest by Monday (21 November) morning, is about to give attention to decreasing tensions between the 2 international locations.

The transfer comes as a deadline to begin implementing fines for residents not displaying automobile registration plates issued by Kosovo establishments, the following stage in a gradual rollout that can see a complete ban by April is because of expire on the identical day.

Since 1 November, when Pristina began implementing the step-by-step plan for the re-registration of automobiles with unlawful Serbian license plates, tensions between Kosovo and Serbia have elevated.

With the stress to search out settlement earlier than the expiration of the deadline, EU officers concern the area may in any other case slide again into ethnic violence.

Final week, the EU aspect held talks with the Kosovo representatives in Brussels, however Deputy Prime Minister Besnik Bislimi mentioned no license plate resolution had been discovered thus far.

On Friday (18 November), EU overseas affairs spokesperson Peter Stano mentioned there was no date, however it will occur “very quickly”.

“We’ve urgently invited each events to Brussels to discover a European resolution, a European resolution to the present scenario, which is among the many most critical since 2013, and that is the objective, to have them in Brussels to debate the answer”, Stano mentioned.

Final week, Borrell made clear that ought to the events not discover an settlement by Monday, the area might be getting ready to a harmful disaster, calling each side to fulfil their obligations below the EU-facilitated Belgrade-Pristina dialogue.

“Pointless and counterproductive tensions” between Kosovo and Serbia “are reaching a really, very harmful degree” and create a scenario the place “we’re unhappily on the sting of one other disaster,” Borrell mentioned after a gathering of EU overseas ministers final week.

At present, EU law enforcement officials are enterprise patrols in northern Kosovo after some 600 law enforcement officials, alongside judges, prosecutors, and different state employees, from the Serb minority stop over the automobile licence plate row.

The 130 officers from Poland and Italy – who’re patrol within the municipalities the place there isn’t any native police presence – don’t have any powers of arrest, however the EU needs their presence to fill the safety vacuum.

Serbian International Minister Ivica Dacic mentioned there was no shock the EU known as the assembly however that he didn’t see any motive for Vucic to attend.

He additionally issued a veiled risk of attainable battle if an answer was not discovered.

“It’s vital that somebody involves senses to stop any attainable incidents and sparks that may ignite the complete area. Which means it’s essential to postpone the choice on the license plates,” he added.

[Edited by Alice Taylor]

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