19:41 GMT +320 April 2018
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    Federica Mogherini, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union talks to the press on October 23, 2015 in Vienna

    EU Concerned Over Serbia-Kosovo Tensions Following Stopped Train Incident

    © AFP 2018 / DIETER NAGL
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    EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini voiced concern on Monday over the escalation of tensions between Serbia and Kosovo, following the incident with the Serbian passenger train, and called on the parties to engage in dialogue.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Saturday, the first passenger train since 1999 heading from the Serbian capital of Belgrade to Kosovo was stopped near the border over security concerns. The train was colored as the Serbian flag with the caption "Kosovo is Serbia" written in 21 languages on it.

    "I was personally not only following the issue of the train over the weekend, but also personally… I was in contact with Prime Minister Vucic. Extremely worried of situation that could have easily escalated. And my message to the parties has been to avoid escalations, try to contain both acts and rhetoric, and try to see at the common engagement through dialogue as something that is delivering for both," Mogherini told reporters after a meeting of EU member countries' foreign ministers.

    According to Mogherini, the progress made over the past year by the European Union with both Belgrade and Pristina is "historical."

    She noted that "tensions are still high," but praised the leadership of the two countries for their work and determination.

    The Kosovar authorities are opposing railway communication between Serbia and Mitrovice saying that it is a threat to Kosovo’s sovereignty.

    Serbia does not recognize Kosovo as an independent state, which was unilaterally proclaimed in 2008. Kosovo is recognized by over 100 UN member states.


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    train, European Union, Federica Mogherini, Kosovo, Serbia
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