Kosovo, Serbia Issues Unresolved
August 31, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 31 (UPI) — Skirmishes along the border between Serbia and Kosovo highlight simmering tensions in the region and the need to avoid unilateral action, a U.N. official said.
One person was killed after authorities in Kosovo tried to take control over checkpoints near the border with Serbia in late July.
Farid Zarif, acting U.N. special envoy for Kosovo, told members of the U.N. Security Council the number of cases like this one were increasing even though the situation was quickly controlled.
“They serve as a stark reminder that the issues underlying these incidents remain unresolved and constitute a serious threat to Kosovo’s peace and security,” he said. “It remains essential therefore that all sides refrain from any unilateral action, which could escalate tensions.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week in Belgrade said if Serbia wants to join the European Union, it needs to let European security teams do their work in the region and ensure bilateral ties are normalized.
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008. Belgrade maintains Kosovo is a breakaway republic, however.
Serbian President Boris Tadic said his country was committed to finding a durable solution to the regional crisis.
“We are facing a very complex issue with Kosovo,” he was quoted by the BBC as saying following Merkel’s visit.