- Title: Evoking WW2, EU Commission chief urges Kosovo-Serbia reconciliation
- Date: 29th September 2021
- Summary: JARINJE, KOSOVO (SEPTEMBER 21, 2021) (REUTERS) TRUCKS PARKED TO BLOCK ROAD NEAR BORDER MEN STANDING BY TRUCKS ON THE ROAD SERBIAN FLAG FLYING FROM POLE MEN SITTING BY ROAD VARIOUS OF TRUCKS PARKED ON THE ROAD OFFICERS OF KOSOVO SPECIAL POLICE FORCE PATROLLING BY TRUCKS POLICE OFFICERS WALKING PATROLLING VARIOUS OF POLICE OFFICER HOLDING GUN
- Embargoed: 13th October 2021 13:39
- Keywords: Albin Kurti European Commission European Union Kosovo Prime Minister Kosovo-Serbia relations Ursula von der Leyen
- Location: PRISTINA AND JARINJE, KOSOVO
- City: PRISTINA AND JARINJE, KOSOVO
- Country: Kosovo
- Topics: European Union,Europe,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA002EWRVI2H
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: PART QUALITY AS INCOMING
The European Union's chief executive urged Kosovo and Serbia on Wednesday (September 29) to overcome a mounting border dispute and recommit to mediated talks in Brussels.
NATO troops stepped up patrols in Kosovo on Monday (September 27) near border crossings which have been blocked by local Serbs angered by a ban on cars with Serbian licence plates entering the country, in the latest flare-up between the neighbors.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said we were very concerned about the crisis and said both sides should return to the negotiating table.
She said as a German national she understood the challenges of reconciliation after conflict.
Both Kosovo and Serbia, which is an official candidate for EU membership, must improve mutual relations if they want to join the bloc. Their negotiators head to Brussels this week for the latest round of EU-mediated talks.
Speaking in Serbian in response to a journalist's question, Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti said his proposal was for both Kosovo and Serbia to recognise licence plates from each others' countries.
Kosovo declared independence in 2008, backed by the United States, Britain, and most EU member states, but Serbia has never recognised that, blocking its recognition at the United Nations.
Von der Leyen also said she wanted to see the Western Balkan countries join the EU. "We want you, we need you," she added.
But despite strong Commission support, the bloc's 27 members are divided over the speed of "enlargement" and specifically whether to start accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia.
(Production: Karolina Bohacova, Lewis Macdonald)
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