Kosovo: Serbia not recognizing its borders threatens peace


PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Kosovo’s government says recent comments from Serbia’s president not recognizing its borders threaten peace and security.

A statement Friday said Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic’s words a day earlier not recognizing Kosovo’s internationally accepted borders “are unacceptable and introduce a serious threat of Kosovo’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.”

It added they “threaten peace, stability and security in Kosovo, the region and wider.”

Kosovo-Serbia ties have been strained after Pristina’s decision to set a 100 percent import tariff on Serb and Bosnian goods until Belgrade recognizes its sovereignty and stops preventing it from joining international organizations. Kosovo broke away from Serbia in 2008, but Serbia has not recognized its independence yet.

The European Union-facilitated dialogue between the two countries, which started in 2011, has stalled, with Belgrade saying it won’t take part until the tariff is lifted.

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In a joint open editorial, the U.S. ambassadors to Belgrade and Pristina — Kyle Scott and Philip S. Kosnett — said the “long-term stability and prosperity for both Kosovo and Serbia depend on a return to the EU-led Dialogue.”

They called on “Kosovo to suspend the tariffs, for Serbia to respond constructively, for provocations by both sides to end.”

They said if those actions are taken, “we are optimistic you can reach a historic normalization agreement in 2019.”

The ambassadors warned “if the two sides fail to seize this opportunity, you risk losing the best opportunity in a generation.”

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