Erdoğan urges Serbian, Kosovar leaders for dialogue

Türkiye has urged Serbia and Kosovo to diffuse tension and resolve the problems through dialogue amid recent escalation between the two countries.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke by phone with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti late on May 31, the Communication Directorate said in a statement. Both leaders congratulated Erdoğan on his reelection, read the statement.

"During the calls where the bilateral relations and regional issues were addressed as well, President Erdoğan, as regards the developments taking place in the north of Kosovo, stated that ensuring progress in the dialogue process is the only method for the establishment of lasting peace and stability in the region," said the statement.

President Erdoğan also noted that Türkiye stands ready to make the necessary contributions to the dialogue process.

Ankara is following the events in the north of Kosovo where tension has risen between Kosovar officials and local Serbs. In a statement through the Foreign Ministry, it called on all sides to avoid violence and not to take actions that may escalate tensions.

The confrontation unfolded last week after ethnic Albanian officials who were elected in a vote overwhelmingly boycotted by Serbs entered municipal buildings to take office. When Serbs tried to block them, Kosovo police fired tear gas to disperse them in Zvecan, leading to clashes with NATO-led troops that left 30 international soldiers injured.

Ethnic Serbs have insisted that both ethnic Albanian mayors and Kosovo police must leave northern Kosovo.

On May 31, NATO-led peacekeepers stepped up security around a town hall in northern Kosovo, where hundreds of ethnic Serbs gathered again at the scene of clashes...

Continue reading on: