White House Urges Serbia’s Vucic to Withdraw Military From Border With Kosovo

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white house, jon finer, aleksandar vucic, serbia, kosovo, protests, kfor

white house, jon finer, aleksandar vucic, serbia, kosovo, protests, kfor

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Principal Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer in a phone call with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic called on Belgrade to withdraw its forces from the regions bordering on Kosovo and to take steps to pacify Serbian protesters in the northern part of the contested territory, the White House said in a release.

“Principal Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer spoke with President Aleksandar Vucic of Serbia today. Mr. Finer stressed the United States’ concern about the tense situation in northern Kosovo and called for all parties to take steps aimed at de-escalating the situation,” the release said on Friday.

“He urged the government of Serbia to withdraw its armed forces stationed near the border and to lower their state of readiness, as well as to urge protesters to remain peaceful in northern Kosovo.”

Finer also told Vucic that the United States expect both sides to re-engage in the EU-facilitated dialogue and to fully implement the normalization agreement reached in Brussels and Ohrid earlier this year, the release added.

The latest wave of Serb protests in northern Kosovo and Metohija was triggered by municipal elections with a marginal 3.5% voter turnout that installed Albanian mayors in the Serb-majority region.

Kosovo, whose independence from Belgrade has not been recognized by Serbia and dozens of other countries, deployed police to the region, while Serbia put its armed forces on full combat alert and started moving them toward the administrative border.

Kosovo riot police and KFOR (International Military Mission to Kosovo) military police, secure entrance to municipal building in Zvecan, northern Kosovo, following clashes with Serb protesters demanding the removal of recently elected Albanian mayors.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.05.2023

Decisive Steps Needed to Ease Tensions in Kosovo, Not West’s ‘Half-Measures’ – Moscow

NATO deployed its troops in four protesting regions in northern Kosovo and Metohija and announced it was sending additional troops to reinforce the KFOR peacekeepers there. Officers surrounded the local government buildings with rows of barbed wire in advance, with heavily equipped Kosovo Albanian police fighters with armored vehicles positioned behind them.

On Monday, thousands of Serbs protested in Zvecan and Leposavic, which escalated into clashes with security forces that left 52 Serbs and some 30 KFOR troops injured.





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