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December 6, 2011
Kosovo’s prime minister Hashim Thaci claimed Tuesday that Serbia’s acceptance of an EU-brokered agreement on border crossings amounted to tacit recognition of Pristina’s independence.
Pristina, KOSOVO – Monday, December 5, 2011 / AFP
“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 recognised the border with Kosovo,” he said.
Belgrade refuses to recognise Albanian-majority Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence, which is recognised by the United States as well as most European Union 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 in all six Kosovo-Serbia crossings.
The EU said the agreement, seen as crucial to Serbia’s bid to join the 27-nation bloc, is a vital step in reducing tension in northern Kosovo, after a wave of clashes left scores of people injured, including NATO peacekeepers.
Thaci has come under fire from the opposition for agreeing to the deal, which makes no explicit mention of borders. A footnote to the document states that Pristina refers to the demarcation as a border while Serbia maintains it is an administrative line.
Serbia’s negotiator for Kosovo Borko Stefanovic has said the agreement did not recognise the existence of an inter-state border as there are “no border markers, no state flags and no customs officials checking passports”.
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