Serbia sets sights on EU with Kosovo border deal

Serbia sets sights on EU with Kosovo border deal
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Serbia’s agreement to manage joint border crossings with Kosovo has enhanced its EU membership bid. It has confirmed the deal announced by Brussels on Friday.

The European Union’s EULEX force in northern Kosovo will stay in place to supervise the accord.

Serbia does not recognise Kosovo’s independence, but will now deploy staff at border gates.

EULEX is already present at all gates in accordance with its mandate and that will continue with the new arrangements, except that the gates, instead of just being on one side of the line will be sort of double gates, including people from both sides,” said Robert Cooper, the EU facilitator for dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina.

Border controls remain one of the most sensitive issues between Serbia and Kosovo at the EU-mediated talks. EU leaders are due to discuss Belgrade’s membership bid next week.

Pristina’s attempts to control frontiers have led to several clashes with ethnic Serbs. Dozens of people have been injured, including many NATO peacekeepers last Monday.

Serbia said the new agreement came after Belgrade had received what it called “additional assurances”, without specifying what they were.

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