- Title: Kosovo, Serbia agree deal to end border tensions
- Date: 30th September 2021
- Summary: JARINJE, KOSOVO (SEPTEMBER 22, 2021) (REUTERS) PEOPLE WALKING ALONG ROAD FROM SERBIA WITH SUITCASES PEOPLE WALKING, AUDIO OF MAN ASKING HOW IT IS TO CROSS BORDER ON FOOT, WOMAN IN BLUE JACKET SAYING (Serbian): "No comment" GROUP OF PEOPLE WALKING DOWN ROAD PEOPLE WALKING WITH SUITCASES VARIOUS OF TRUCKS PARKED ON ROAD HELICOPTER OF NATO-LED KOSOVO FORCE (KFOR) FLYING OVERHEAD POLISH POLICE OFFICERS, IN EUROPEAN UNION RULE OF LAW MISSION, STANDING AND LOOKING ON ARMOURED VEHICLES PARKED ON ROADSIDE VARIOUS OF ARMED ROSU OFFICERS (REGIONAL OPERATIONAL SUPPORT UNIT) STANDING ON ROAD TRUCK AND ROSU OFFICERS ON ROAD
- Embargoed: 14th October 2021 15:36
- Keywords: European Union Kosovo-Serbia border Kosovo-Serbia relations Western Balkans dialogue to normalise relations roadblocks
- Location: JARINJE, MERDARE BORDER CROSSING AND PRISTINA, KOSOVO / INTERNET / NIS, SERBIA
- City: JARINJE, MERDARE BORDER CROSSING AND PRISTINA, KOSOVO / INTERNET / NIS, SERBIA
- Country: Kosovo
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Europe,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA004EWWWUUX
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: PART QUALITY AS INCOMING
Kosovo agreed on Thursday (September 30) to withdraw police units from its northern border with Serbia to end a mounting dispute over vehicle licence plates that briefly escalated into violence and prompted NATO to step up its patrols.
The new agreement ends a ban instigated by Kosovo for all drivers from Serbia to show a temporary, printed registration.
Pristina said its move was in retaliation for measures in force in Serbia against drivers from Kosovo since 2008.
The accord negotiated in Brussels calms the latest flare-up in a decades-old standoff between Serbia and Kosovo but does not resolve a bigger issue blocking European Union membership talks: that Serbia and its former province Kosovo should normalise relations following Pristina's 2008 independence.
"We have a deal," said Miroslav Lajcek, the EU's envoy dealing with one of Europe's toughest territorial disputes.
"After two days of intense negotiations, an agreement on de-escalation and the way forward has just been reached," he said on Twitter, where he posted the details.
Under the agreement, NATO troops will replace the Kosovar police units on the border, who will withdraw from Saturday (October 2).
From Monday (October 4) both countries will place special stickers on car licence plates to remove national symbols and allow the free movement of citizens.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who met with Serbian and Kosovo leaders on Wednesday (September 29) said on Twitter she warmly welcomed the deal.
"It's good for the whole region. The dialogue now needs to continue," von der Leyen said in her tweet.
(Production: Lewis Macdonald)
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