ISSN 2330-717X

Thaci Raps Serbian ‘Aggression Towards Kosovo’

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By Fatmir Aliu

Serbia is provoking open conflict with Kosovo and the entire region of the Western Balkans may pay the price, Kosovo’s Prime Minister Hashim Thaci warned on Wednesday, referring to Belgrade’s decision to extend its local elections to Kosovo.

Speaking to the cabinet on Wednesday, Thaci described the move by Serbia as renewed aggression against Kosovo.

“Serbia is provoking an open conflict with the state of Kosovo, which can have consequences for the entire region and for the international efforts in the region,” Thaci said.

“This is an attempt at aggression against the independent state of Kosovo,” he added.

Belgrade on Tuesday announced that it will hold its local elections on May 6, including within the territory of Kosovo, which it continues to see as its southern province.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, and had been recognized by 88 countries, including the US, and 22 of the 27 member states of the EU.

The government in Pristina says Belgrade’s move represents a breach of Serbia’s own international resolutions.

“We will use all our constitutional and legal force to prevent such elections from being held on our territory… the only local elections that will be organized [here] are by the institutions of our country, not from any neighbouring country,” Thaci said.

Serbia’ vow to hold elections in the Republic of Kosovo was condemned by Albania as well.

Albania’s Foreign Ministry said the move was in complete contradiction to the spirit and content of the talks held so far between Kosovo and Serbia, brokered by the European Union.

Balkan Insight

Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (fornerkt the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

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