Serbia’s president won’t attend EU-west Balkans summit over spat with Kosovo

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By Euronews
Serbia’s president Aleksandar Vuci with Olivér Várhelyi, the European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement.
Serbia’s president Aleksandar Vuci with Olivér Várhelyi, the European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement.   -   Copyright  MTI

Serbia’s president Aleksandar Vučić has announced that he will not be attending a summit between six Western Balkan countries and the European Union next week.

Vučić was angry at Kosovo’s government after it appointed a moderate Kosovo-Serbian politician as its new minister responsible for the country’s minorities.

"The Serbs in the north of Kosovo are close to deciding not to let anyone go north,” he said. “People, you have to understand that everything is boiling, that our people can't take it anymore."

Last month, some of Kosovo’s Serb population quit their jobs in protest, including police officers, over a decision to oblige people to use Kosovan license plates on their cars.

The ruling would have impacted many members of Kosovo’s Serb minority population that still had license plates that dated back to before 1999 when Kosovo still was part of Serbia.

Kosovo and Serbia agreed last week to end the dispute, temporarily defusing rising tensions between the Western Balkan neighbours.

Tensions that Olivér Várhelyi, the European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, reflected on when speaking about the summit.

"We also see a major geopolitical destabilisation on our continent. This is exactly why we have this summit next week in Tirana, where our leaders, for the first time, come to the region to talk about the region with the region."

Representatives from the respective countries will meet in Tirana on 6 December.

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