WASHINGTON, July 27 (UPI) — Washington has called on the governments of Kosovo and Serbia to work to avoid an escalation of conflict following skirmishes at a border crossing.
Serbia called for international intervention Tuesday when Kosovo Albanian police took over a checkpoint in a Serbian-populated region.
Serbia doesn’t recognize the unilaterally declared independence of its former province and ethnic Serbs in the north don’t accept the Pristina government’s authority.
The U.S. State Department said it regrets Kosovo’s action and called on both sides to work to control the situation.
“We urge all parties to refrain from the use of violence,” the State Department said.
The statement added that the European Union should be the venue for dialogue between the opposition parties.
“We have confidence in the EU’s management of the dialogue and urge both parties to return to the negotiating table immediately,” the statement read.
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008.
“The dialogue is the only way forward to solve the issue of customs stamps and to re-establish free trade in both directions,” added EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton.