Tense end to Vucic's visit as Albanians put up barricades

President Aleksandar Vucic completed his 2-day visit to Kosovo and Metohija on Sunday by addressing citizens at the central square in Kosovska Mitrovica.

The second day of Vucic's visit to Kosovo was marked by incidents and the roadblocks put up by ethnic Albanians on the way to the Serb village of Banje.

The president then decided to return to Kosovska Mitrovica, as police informed him that the blockades were two kilometers ahead of the convoy, and that it was not safe to continue the trip.

Vucic told Serbs in Kosovska Mitrovica that his obligation was to say that Serbia will always be with its people in Kosovo and Metohija, through thick and thin, and that it "only wants to win more rights for Serbs in Kosovo through a compromise."

He added that there is currently no "draft solution" for the Kosovo issue - "nor are we close to it."

Earlier in the day, roadblock were set up on five locations using tractors and logs. Then the Kosovo government decided to cancel Vucic's visit to the village of Banje for security reasons. The decision came into force "immediately," Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj announced.

Pristina-based media were publishing photographs and video footage of the barricades on the roads along which the president was supposed to travel.

Hundreds of Albanians, including former members of the KLA ("Kosovo Liberation Army") blocked the road to the village of Banje, in the municipality of Srbica, using excavators, trucks and logs, along with piles of wood and car tires that were then set on fire.

Banners reading, "Vucic will not pass," and "Vucic go back" were also seen.

When he returned to Kosovska Mitrovica, Vucic addressed citizens in Banje by telephone.

"I'm sorry that I could not come, because Pristina authorities did not want it," Vucic said on the phone.

He said that those who had set up the...

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