Barricades, Gravel, Violence and talks again in the Balkan scene

After a long term of clashes and violence in the northern Mitrovica, Kosovo and Serbia back on the table, the table political ‘game’ begins today, facilitated from European Union in Brussels...
After a long term of clashes and violence in the northern Mitrovica, Kosovo and Serbia back on the table, the table political ‘game’ begins today, facilitated from European Union in Brussels to continue with the 8th round of technical talks between two states in a long term hostile relationship.

by Vedat Xhymshiti – Pristina, Kosovo – Wednesday, November 30, 2011
The parties will discuss regional cooperation, integrated joint border management, telecommunication and energy. The Kosovo Government has separately announced that it will again raise the issue of non-implementation of the agreements by Serbia.
However, for more than three months, Serbia through local serbs in northern Mitrovica, have been blocking main roads in northern Kosovo to stop the country’s ethnic Albanian leadership from extending their control over parts of Kosovo. 
This round of technical talks, according to Kosovo Government, has particular importance, because it is being held on the eve of the decision of the European Council on countries EU integration progress. Kosovo has received a high evaluation from the European Union and its member states for its serious and constructive engagement in this dialogue, therefore, it rightfully expects the Council to reward its substantial progress in European integration, says in the press communiqué of the Kosovo Government.
The head of the Kosovo delegation, Edita Tahiri, stated in Brussels that agreements for the regional presentation of Kosovo will be difficult to achieve. The head of the Serbian delegation, Borko Stefanovic, also said that an agreement on this would be very difficult, because the institutions of Pristina are pretending that Kosovo’s independence is recognized.
The situation in the north is reportedly back on the ‘calm’, this is after two days of violent protests in Zubin Potok. During the protests 30 KFOR soldiers were injured. Serbs have also enforced and cemented the barricade at the place called “Shkembi i Dudes”, in Zvecan municipality, which KFOR tried to remove a few days. The barricade is 2.5 meters high and surrounded by barbed wire. NATO Alliance announced yesterday that it will respond to the violent acts propotionately.

“The situation in Jagnjenice as in the whole of the north is calm and we hope that it will continue to be like this, we will see what will happen during the day”, said KFOR Spokesman Uwe Nowitzki.

However, a German soldier of NATO troops wounded by a firearm in recent clashes is still in coma. The situation in northern Kosovo  remain tense since Sunday, after a day of violence during which 30 NATO soldiers and over thirty Serbs were injured in clashes in northern village of Jagnjenica on Monday.

Underscoring the continuing tensions, 30 NATO soldiers were injured Monday in clashes with ethnic Serbs in Kosovo as the troops tried to dismantle roadblocks obstructing traffic to the contested border points.

Kosovo broke away from Serbia in February 2008. The EU does not expect Belgrade to recognize its independence, as five of its own member states share Serbia’s opinion that it is illegal. But it wants the country to normalize relations as much as possible with Pristina.

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Vudi Xhymshiti; is an independent journalist, editor and photographer. He is focusing on the issues of the domestic politics of Kosovo, Foreign Policy of the United States, the Russian Federation, the European Union and the Middle East. Xhymshiti is also focused on the issues of the politics of race, gender, identity, migration as well as displacement of people due to climate change and armed conflicts. He has been published in various media including Der Spiegel, NY Times, TIME, Paris Match, Le Monde etc. Xhymshiti is also a print media critic and founder of THE Frontliner.

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