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Barricades at Kosovo-Serbia border dismantled

Belgrade and Pristina agreed to end a tense deadlock

02 October, 17:46
(ANSA-AFP) - BELGRADE, OCT 2 - Kosovo Serbs on Saturday removed vehicles they had positioned to block roads leading to border with Serbia, after Belgrade and Pristina agreed to end a tense deadlock. The former foes were at loggerheads for nearly two weeks after Kosovo banned cars with Serbian registration plates from entering its territory -- mirroring a years-long Serbian practice against vehicles travelling the other way.

Kosovo dispatched special police units to oversee the ban's implementation, angering local Serbs who blocked the roads leading to the border. Serbia responded by deploying armoured vehicles close to the frontier and flying fighter jets over the border region which prompted foreign diplomats to press the two sides to calm tensions and prevent further escalation. According to a European Union-brokered deal struck Thursday in Brussels, Kosovo was to remove the special police by Saturday and the local Serbs to dismantle the barricades. NATO-led peacekeepers replaced the Kosovo special police that withdrew on Saturday.

The NATO-led peacekeepers from the KFOR mission will be deployed at the border for the next two weeks, according to the deal.


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