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Kosovo’s President Favors Dialogue

PRISTINA, Kosovo, Aug. 3 (UPI) — Kosovo is ready to have negotiations with any country, including Serbia, about its interests, the president of Kosovo declared.

NATO forces were sent to the border between Kosovo and Serbia last week to quell tensions between the countries. The deployment was in response to Kosovo sending police to the northern border to enforce a trade embargo on Serbia.

U.N. peacekeepers said they were fired on by unknown gunmen. NATO’s Kosovo Force reported “nothing new” this week though more troops were sent to bolster the unit.

Despite simmering tensions, both sides have suggested peaceful dialogue was the best course of action.

Kosovar President Atifete Jahjaga in an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty said nobody wants to see “organized crime and smuggling” to flourish in the region.

She said that dialogue should continue on practical issues between both sides but added that nothing could encroach on the legality of Kosovo or Serbia.

“Kosovo is ready to talk to any country — including Serbia — about issues that are in the interests of our country and our citizens,” she said.

Kosovar Prime Minister Hashim Thaci blamed Serbia for the skirmish but Serbian President Boris Tadic was quoted by Russia’s state-run news agency, RIA Novosti, as saying his country “will not go to war” over border violence.

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