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Written by SOT.COM.AL 7 Qershor 2023
The President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, said that from June 9 to 12 he will hold talks with the Kosovo Serbs, as the tensions in the north of Kosovo continue.
During an address in Belgrade, Vucic spoke briefly about the situation in Kosovo, thanking the Serbs in the north, who according to him are fighting for their rights.
"I want to thank those who are fighting for their rights in a peaceful and dignified way. It is important to keep the peace and talk with everyone," said Vucic.
In Leposavi?, Zveçan and Zubin Potok - municipalities in the north of Kosovo, inhabited by a majority of Serbs, the security situation has worsened since May 26, when the Albanian mayors of the municipalities officially took office, despite the resistance of the local residents.
Local Serbs in these three municipalities have been organizing protests in front of the municipal buildings ever since.
The elections of April 23, from which these Albanian presidents emerged, were boycotted by the Serbian community.
The American emissary, Gabriel Escobar, and the European one, Miroslav Lajçak, have visited Kosovo and Serbia since Monday, in an attempt to find a solution for the escalation of the situation in the north.
The United States and the European Union have demanded that Kosovo immediately escalate the situation in the north, presenting three demands to the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti: calm the situation in the north, hold new elections in this area, and return to the dialogue for the normalization of Kosovo-Serbia relations.
Washington's envoy for the Western Balkans, Gabriel Escobar, earlier on June 7, said that in the meeting with the Serbian president, the latter assured him that he would use his influence to convince the Serbian community in the north of Kosovo to participated in the eventual elections.
"The biggest challenge for Serbia now is to convince the Serbs to return to the institutions of Kosovo," said Escobar.
The Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, said that he is open to holding new elections in North Mitrovica, Zveçan, Leposavic and Zubin Potok, but first he said that the "ground" for holding them must be prepared.
According to him, preparing the ground for early elections in the municipalities in the north of Kosovo, inhabited by Serb majority, means that they will be free and that there will be a free and democratic pre-election campaign.
"I am ready for discussions, talks, but I reiterate, we will never surrender our democratic republic, our independent state, sovereign Kosovo, for any price, to the fascist militia, to these criminal groups and extremists," Kurti told reporters on the 7 June.
He said that during the meeting in Pristina with Escobar and Lajcak, he offered a "stable and safe exit" from the crisis in the north, which, according to him, was caused "by the illegal and parallel structures of Serbia there".
As the first point, he mentioned the rule of law, arguing that all persons involved "in crimes and violations" must face justice. And the second point, he said that after the departure of the Serb groups and the end of the "violent riots", Kosovo will reduce the presence of the police in front of the municipal buildings and then early elections may be held.
"So, yes, new elections, early elections, but after the rule of law and after the preparation of the ground", he said.
Meanwhile, Escobar has stated the day before that the situation in the north of Kosovo should be escalated immediately and that he does not want to wait until July for new elections. /REL