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EU holds Serbia and Kosovo crisis meetings amid heightened tensions

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The Associated Press

Associated Press

BRUSSELS (AP) — Serbian and Kosovar leaders met in Brussels on Thursday to form another European alliance to resolve lingering issues between the two wartime rivals that have heightened tensions in the Balkans. Attempted coalition mediation.

The EU's head of foreign policy, Josep Borrell, said before his meeting with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovar Prime Minister Albin Kurti: full normalization of relations between the two nations”.

"I expect both leaders to be open and flexible in finding common ground," Borel tweeted. state, which refused to approve the 2008 Declaration of Independence. This came after her NATO-led intervention in 1999 thwarted Belgrade's bloody crackdown on the majority Kosovo her Albanians.

The European Union has overseen years of negotiations to normalize relations, which ultimately led him to be a major prerequisite for joining the bloc of 27 countries. says it's one.

Even before the latest talks began on Thursday, Vucic expressed pessimism that the talks would have big consequences.

"I don't believe it, but I hope there is some kind of solution," Vucic said on his Instagram.

Recent tensions between Serbia and Kosovo soared late last month when the Kurti government declared that Serbian identity cards and vehicle license plates were no longer valid on Kosovar territory.

Minority Serbs, mainly living in northern Kosovo, reacted with anger, blocking roads, sounding air raid sirens, firing into the air, and firing Kosovar police officers. fired towards No one was injured.

Apparently under pressure from the West, Kurti postponed the implementation of the measures by a month, to 1 September.

Serbia and its allies Russia and China do not recognize Kosovo's independence. Supported by the US and most other Western countries.

There are fears in the West that Russia will urge Serbia to intervene armedly in northern Kosovo, further destabilizing the Balkans and diverting at least some attention from the war in Ukraine.