12:44 GMT +311 December 2017
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    Serbia ready to revive talks with Kosovo

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    Serbia and Kosovo should resume their dialog as soon as possible, the Belgrade-based Tanjug news agency reported, citing a Serbian government official.

    Serbia and Kosovo should resume their dialog as soon as possible, the Belgrade-based Tanjug news agency reported, citing a Serbian government official.

    Goran Bogdanovic, the head of the Serbian government committee on Kosovo, called for the resumption on Friday after talks with EU mediator for Kosovo and Serbia Robert Cooper.

    Tensions flared in Kosovo’s ethnic Serb enclave after Albanian Kosovars installed their customs officers at the Jarinje and Brnjak border crossings with Serbia.

    Cooper arrived in Belgrade on Thursday to try to bring Kosovo and Serbia back to the negotiating table. Talks planned for September 27-28 between Belgrade and Pristina were cancelled because of the clashes between peacekeepers in NATO-led KFOR and local Serbs.

    “At present the situation in the north is not acceptable for us. We agreed to resume talks and address all of Kosovo’s problems,” Bogdanovic said. They also reached agreement to establish contacts between local Serbs and international missions in Kosovo to tackle those problems.

    Bogdanovic said the Serbs were not protesting against KFOR or the EULEX security forces, but against Kosovar police and customs officers at the border.

    Serbian media has reported that Belgrade is ready to agree a compromise arrangement that would see the Jarinje and Brnjak crossings manned jointly by Kosovar Albanians and Serbs and controlled by EULEX.

    The head of the Serbian delegation Borislav Stefanovic, who met on Friday with Cooper, confirmed that Belgrade had presented a number of proposals. He did not disclose details.

    Cooper planned to visit Pristina after the talks in Belgrade.

    Officials in Pristina have insisted that they would not revive the talks, saying the problems are Kosovo’s internal affairs. They call on Belgrade to abide by the agreements reached on September 2 in Brussels.

    Those talks produced an agreement on customs but not one on manning for the border crossings.

    Seven Serbs and KFOR peacekeepers were wounded in clashes between locals and the military on the border crossing Jarinje on September 27.

     

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