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Balkans: European parliament adopts resolutions on Kosovo, Serbia

last update: March 29, 17:49

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Brussels, 29 March (AKI) - The European parliament (EP) on Thursday adopted resolutions on Kosovo and Serbia, calling on Belgrade and Pristina to continue dialogue as the only way to “permanently remove tensions in the region”.

The parliament hailed the agreements between Belgrade and Pristina on joint border control, freedom of movement, exchange of land and birth registers and called on the “government of Serbia to fully and without delay implements them”.

Serbia doesn’t recognize Kosovo independence, declared by majority ethnic Albanians in 2008, but has agreed to normalization of relations for the sake of getting a status of an official candidate for EU membership earlier this month.

Kosovo has been recognized by over eighty countries, including the United States and 22 out of 27 EU members.

The parliament in resolution on Kosovo expressed “serious concern” over the situation in the Serb-populated north, where Serbia still operates institutions which Pristina considers “illegal”.

Local Serbs set up road blocks last year in protest against Kosovo institutions being installed in the north, and two people were killed and scores injured in the ensuing violence.

The resolution called for complete removal of barricades and cautioned Belgrade against organizing local elections in Kosovo in May, saying it would be a violation of international law.

The parliament pledged to render continued support to Kosovo and Serbia in their efforts to join the EU, but called for more energetic struggle against organized crime, corruption and the lack of the rule of law.

The resolution also called on the International Olympic Committee to allow Kosovo sportsmen to compete in this year’s Olympic games in London, but analysts said it was unlikely to happen, because the EP has no competences over the games and competition schedule has already been completed.

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