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‘We’ve a deal’: Kosovo residents to journey freely to Serbia, says EU international coverage chief


Serbia will enable Kosovo residents to enter the nation with private ID playing cards issued by the federal government in Prishtina, in response to the EU international coverage chief, settling a part of the dispute that led to an escalation of tensions alongside the border between the 2 nations in early August.

“We’ve a deal,” Josep Borrell mentioned in a tweet on Saturday. “Beneath the EU-facilitated Dialogue, Serbia agreed to abolish entry/exit paperwork for Kosovo ID holders and Kosovo agreed to not introduce them for Serbian ID holders.”

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“Kosovo Serbs, in addition to all different residents, will be capable to journey freely between Kosovo and Serbia utilizing their ID playing cards. The EU simply acquired ensures from PM (Albin) Kurti to this finish,” he wrote.

Borrell additionally thanked the US envoy for the Western Balkans, Gabriel Escobar, for his involvement within the talks. Earlier this week, the 2 visited Kosovo’s north, and Belgrade, in a bid to additional de-escalate the disaster.

Saturday’s settlement got here after weeks of heightened tensions between Prishtina and Belgrade following the announcement by Kosovo’s prime minister that Serbian-issued paperwork and car license plates would now not be legitimate inside its territory, a response to Kosovo-issued paperwork not being legitimate in Serbia.

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Though ethnic Serbs residing within the north of the nation responded by placing up barricades on the roads main in a foreign country, the scenario de-escalated after EU police forces and NATO-led KFOR peacekeepers bought concerned.

Since then, EU and US officers have organised a number of conferences between Prishtina and Belgrade in Brussels and within the respective capitals of the nations.

The talks appeared to have failed to provide any concrete outcomes, with the bloc’s high diplomat Josep Borrell initially stating that the 2 sides pledged to carry additional conferences to attempt to discover a answer to the difficulty.

Kurti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić have been each imprecise about attainable agreements that might stem from the talks.

The dispute over Kosovo-issued paperwork goes again to 2008 when Kosovo — a former province of Serbia — declared independence, one thing Belgrade has refused to recognise.

Kosovo was a UN protectorate after the withdrawal of Serbian troops following the 1999 NATO bombing of the nation and has been recognised by 119 nations — however not by the likes of Russia, China and 5 EU member states.

In 2013, an settlement regulating the liberty of motion between the 2 was signed, and Serbia instituted a coverage of issuing momentary entry paperwork for Kosovar residents. It argued that not recognising Kosovo means its identification paperwork are additionally not legitimate in Serbia.

Brussels has facilitated a dialogue between the 2 nations designed to lower tensions and resolve bilateral points — which can be one of many necessities for each nations’ progress alongside their path towards full-fledged EU membership.


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