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Forming Serb municipalities body in Kosovo is not possible, says premier

Forming Serb municipalities body in Kosovo is not possible, says premier
Albin Kurti's remarks cause controversary as himself earlier supports deal to progress towards normalization with Serbia

By Talha Ozturk

BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) – Establishing a union of Serb municipalities in Kosovo is not possible and Serbia should pay compensation for the 1999 war, Kosovo's prime minister said.

Addressing the parliament on Wednesday, Albin Kurti said Kosovo is dominated by Albanians 93% although it is a multi-ethnic state.

"The formation of the Community of Serb Municipalities in Kosovo is not possible because it is against the Constitution. When we declared independence, we said that although Kosovo has 93% Albanians, it cannot be called Albanian, but multi-ethnic.

"It is not possible to form a national community now because we already have the Association of Kosovo Municipalities," Kurti was quoted as saying by local media.

He added that Serbia must compensate for the damage it caused to Kosovo the 1999 war in terms of people and material goods.

Kurti's remarks came after dozens of Kosovo Albanians protested Tuesday against Kurti's plan to establish the union of Serbian municipalities.

His remarks also caused controversy as he said in early January that Serbia should be pressured to accept a German-French proposal to normalize relations, which includes the formation of the community.

The special envoys of Western countries like the US and the EU repeatedly expressed their support for the formation of the Community of Serbian Municipalities as it plays a key role in the normalization of the relations.

The agreement to establish the Community of Serbian Municipalities in regions where most Serbs live in Kosovo was signed between Kosovo and Serbia in 2013 under the mediation of the EU but the deal could not be put into practice.

- Kosovo-Serbia dialogue process

The EU requires Kosovo and Serbia to reach a final agreement that can resolve issues between the two countries for progress in the integration process.

Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, with most UN member states including the US, the UK, France, Germany and Türkiye recognizing it as a separate autonomous country from its neighbor. But Belgrade continues to regard it as its territory.

Lately, the parties have been negotiating what is popularly known as the Franco-German proposal, supported by the US and all EU members.

Serbian President Aleksander Vucic said in October that Germany and France offered to expedite Serbia’s EU membership process if it recognized Kosovo’s independence and allow it to become a member of international organizations.

According to the proposal leaked to the media, Kosovo should allow the establishment of the Union of Serbian Municipalities in the north where Serbs mostly live.

EU officials hope negotiations on the plan will be completed in the spring.

Brussels has facilitated the Serbia-Kosovo dialogue.

source: News Feed
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