World, Europe

EU invites Serbia, Kosovo to hold talks in Brussels

Bloc calls on parties to show restraint, continue with EU-led dialogue to solve recent tensions

Agnes Szucs   | 01.08.2022
EU invites Serbia, Kosovo to hold talks in Brussels

BRUSSELS

The European Union on Monday urged Kosovo and Serbia to show restraint in the recent upsurge of tensions over new border rules, and invited the parties to continue talks in Brussels.

Speaking at a daily news briefing in Brussels, lead spokesperson for external affairs Peter Stano called on all parties “to remain calm,” and warned that “uncoordinated and unilateral actions that jeopardize the stability and security on the ground, and impede the freedom of movement of all citizens need to stop immediately.”

“The only way to resolve any disputes and especially this latest one is through the dialogue," he added.

Stano invited the governments “to meet in Brussels to discuss the way forward to find solutions and to prevent such tensions from reappearing.”

He said “all open issues between Serbia and Kosovo need to be addressed through the EU-facilitated dialogue,” which is essential for the two countries’ path toward the EU.

Tensions rose on Sunday ahead of a new Kosovar law supposed to take effect on Aug. 1, making it mandatory for everyone, including Serbs living in Kosovo, to have a Kosovo ID card and license plate.

Protesters blocked roads leading to two border crossings, Jarinje and Bernjak, and Kosovo police restricted the border crossings.

Kosovo has now postponed for a month the implementation of the new border rules.

Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, with most UN member-states, including the US, UK, France, Germany, and Türkiye, recognizing it as an autonomous country.

Launched in 2011, the EU-led Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue aims to normalize relations between the two Balkan countries and to find a mutually agreeable solution for the disputes in the framework of a legally binding agreement.

Josep Borrell, EU's foreign policy chief, welcomed Kosovo's decision to move measures to Sept. 1.

"Expect all roadblocks to be removed immediately. Open issues should be addressed through EU-facilitated Dialogue&focus on comprehensive normalisation of relations btwn Kosovo&Serbia, essential for their EU integration paths," he tweeted.

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