Atmosphere worsens for Kosovo dialogue resumption: UN envoy

February 10, 2019 2:30 PM

A UN envoy said Thursday that the atmosphere for resuming the dialogue on Kosovo has been exacerbated over the past few months, Xinhua reports.

Zahir Tanin, the UN secretary-general’s special representative for Kosovo, told the Security Council of “a tendency to disrupt rather than de-escalate” the tension between Serbia and Kosovo.

“Recent developments in the relations between Pristina and Belgrade have complicated efforts to create an atmosphere conducive to dialogue and good-faith compromise,” he said.

Tanin also stressed the need for continued support by all council members for a renewed engagement between the two sides, saying that reducing tensions, enhancing mutual trust and removing obstacles to the dialogue are “crucial” to the region’s stability.

He said the UN mission in Kosovo that he leads is mobilizing resources to promote trust-building at all levels of the Kosovo society, and will continue coordination with partners on the ground.

Dominated by ethnic Albanians, Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008, which has not been recognized by Belgrade.

The two sides committed to a European Union-mediated dialogue with the signing of the Brussels agreement in 2013.

The negotiations stopped last December, after Pristina’s decisions to increase the tariff on goods imported from Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina from 10 to 100 percent, as well as to adopt three draft laws aimed at strengthening the role and capacity of the Kosovo Security Force.

 

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