Kosovo, Serbia reach border deal, local Serbs object

Serb negotiator Borislav Stefanovic addresses Kosovo Serbs in the village of Rudare, August 2, 2011

From Branislav Krstic and Fatos Bytyci, Reuters:  Kosovo and Serbia said on Friday they had reached a temporary deal to ease tensions in Kosovo’s north and allow NATO to continue to guard two border posts following recent violence.

However, ethnic Serbs in Kosovo’s north refused to accept a key part of the deal and end a blockade of main roads imposed in a dispute that is essentially about who controls the area. . . .

The deal left unresolved for future talks the thorny issue of who would control the north and how in the future.

Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci called Friday’s agreement the most important achievement since his tiny nation’s declaration of independence three years ago. . . .

Under the agreement no goods from Serbia will enter Kosovo but Pristina will not send its police and customs officers to the northern border posts. This situation will continue until mid-September when both Belgrade and Pristina resume talks in Brussels to resolve trade issues, officials said.

Only trucks with humanitarian aid will be allowed to cross the border, with NATO inspecting cargos.  (photo: Reuters)

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