Kosovo says border deal ‘recognition’ by Serbia

Kosovo says border deal ‘recognition’ by Serbia

Kosovo says border deal ‘recognition’ by Serbia

Kosovar Prime Minister Hashim Thaci arrives for a meeting with Austrian Chancellor on October 24, 2011 in Vienna. AFP Photo

Kosovo’s Prime Minister Hashim Thaci claimed Dec. 6 that Serbia’s acceptance of an EU-brokered agreement on border crossings amounted to tacit recognition of Pristina’s independence.

 “This agreement represents de jure recognition of the Republic of Kosovo by Serbia,” Thaci told his cabinet at a session open to the public. Serbia “consequently recognized the border with Kosovo,” he said.

 Belgrade refuses to recognize Albanian-majority Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence, which is recognized by the U.S. as well as most EU and many other states. Pristina and Belgrade agreed last week to “integrated management” of border crossings following three days of talks in Brussels. The agreement allows for police and customs officers from both Belgrade and Pristina to jointly manage the crossings under the supervision of the European rule of law mission EULEX. UN leader Ban Ki-moon welcomed the accord but called for new efforts to “actively support the de-escalation of tensions on the ground,” his spokesman Martin Nesirky said. Serbia’s negotiator for Kosovo, Borko Stefanovic, has said the agreement did not recognize the existence of an inter-state border as there are “no border markers, no state flags and no customs officials checking passports.

A senior NATO official who could not be identified under standing rules said Dec. 6 that there had been some “very good recent developments” in the region which has seen repeated clashes between members of the Serb minority and peacekeepers.

Compiled from AFP and AP stories by the Daily News staff.