Kosovo’s Prime Minister Hashim Thaci has described as “historic” a decision by western powers to stop overseeing the country following its independence.
A steering group was set up by 25 nations to monitor democratic development after Kosovo split from Serbia in 2008.
Thaci promised that his administration would continue reaching out to up to 60,000 ethnic Serbs living in a tiny part of the north of the country, who have rejected independence.
“In the near future, the government will finalise a very generous comprehensive project for the integration of Serbs. Our internal dialogue will continue. They are citizens of Kosovo,” he said.
Kosovo was put under international control after the late 1990s war that followed the breakup of former Yugoslavia.
The decision to stop the monitoring mission comes despite a rise in ethnic clashes and tensions in northern Kosovo in recent months. NATO troops and an EU police force will remain deployed following the closure of the oversight office in September.
Kosovo’s independence has been recognised by 91 states including most of the EU but not Russia, China or Serbia.