BRUSSELS, July 29 (UPI) — The “ghosts of the past” are trying to rekindle the violence between Kosovo and Serbia and it must stop, the president of the European Parliament said.
Fighting broke out Monday after the government in Pristina ordered troops to set up border check points in the mostly Serb populated regions in the north to enforce a recent trade embargo with Serbia.
NATO’s peacekeeping force for Kosovo said some of its forces came under attack along the border by unknown gunmen in the area.
European leaders called on both sides to exercise restraint and NATO peacekeepers closed some border crossings.
European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek called on both sides two show restraint.
“I have learned with great regret that ghosts of the past are trying to disturb the peace in northern Kosovo,” he said. “Recent violence is unacceptable and must stop.”
International courts are busy prosecuting crimes against humanity committed during conflict involving both sides during the 1980s and 1990s.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague and his German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle in a statement expressed serious concern over the violence.
Both leaders said they supported mediated dialogue under the auspices of the European Union.
“The dialogue provides a crucial opportunity to find peaceful solutions to outstanding issues between Belgrade and Pristina, and to move both Serbia and Kosovo toward a secure future in the EU,” they said.