Kosovo Agrees to De-Escalating Tensions With Serbia

Published December 17th, 2018 - 06:00 GMT
Kosovo's parliament has voted (Twitter)
Kosovo's parliament has voted (Twitter)

Kosovo’s parliament has voted for the formation of a negotiating team to try to resolve outstanding issues between the country and its northern neighbor Serbia.

Kosovar lawmakers on Saturday voted in favor of a resolution to establish a negotiating team, to be comprised of 12 members from the government, the opposition, and civil society.

“Today we have taken a decision that is important to save our sovereignty and integrity and in partnership with the international community,” Kadri Veseli, the speaker of the Kosovar parliament, said after the voting.

The resolution will become law within 30 days.


Most opposition MPs had boycotted the session to approve the negotiating team.

Tensions have been mounting between Kosovo and Serbia recently.

On Friday, the Kosovar parliament voted to create a 5,000-strong standing army for the first time. Just a week earlier, Serbia’s prime minister had threatened that Belgrade would invade Kosovo if that happened. After the establishment of the army was approved, an adviser to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic threatened that Belgrade could send in armed forces or declare Kosovo “occupied territory.”

Muslim-majority Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, in a move backed by Western countries but not recognized by Belgrade.

In 2013, Serbia and Kosovo agreed to hold negotiations under the auspices of the European Union (EU) to resolve points of contention. However, little progress has been made.

Both Kosovo and Serbia, along with several other Balkan republics, were part of the former Republic of Yugoslavia, which disintegrated in the 1990s.

Kosovo is currently recognized by 117 countries as an independent state, including the United States and most members of the EU.

Several other countries, including Russia, however, do not recognize Kosovo as an independent country.

While the U.S. has defended Kosovo’s decision to establish a defending army, Russia has voiced opposition to it.


This article has been adapted from its original source.

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