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Tensions in Kosovo: Macron and Scholz demand new elections in contested municipalities

Paris and Berlin want to defuse the situation. French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called on Thursday for fresh elections to be held in disputed municipalities in northern Kosovo, where recent clashes have taken place.

“We have asked both sides to organize new elections in these four municipalities as soon as possible,” Emmanuel Macron said after a quadruple meeting with the presidents of Serbia and Kosovo in Chisinau on the sidelines of the European Political Community summit.

The President of Kosovo listens

According to the French President, this request implies “commitments on the part of Kosovo” and “clear participation in these elections on the part of the Serbian side.” Responding shortly thereafter to this question, Kosovo’s President Vyosa Osmani assured that she was “ready to consider” such a possibility.

The two leaders were asked for “clear decisions” “for the next week,” Emmanuel Macron insisted, also referring to the “priority and immediate resolution of the question of the unification of Serbian municipalities by Kosovo.” At the same time, the head of EU diplomacy will bring together the ministers of both sides on the issue of unification of these Serbian municipalities, Macron added.

“Obviously, this is not a condition of legitimacy”

The French head of state also deplored the “deplorable organization of the elections, when there were no guarantees for their smooth conduct” and the election of “four mayors with less than 5% of the vote, which is clearly not a condition of legitimacy.”

In recent days, the situation in the region, which has been going from crisis to crisis for years, has become very tense. Many members of the Serb majority in the four northern cities do not recognize Pristina’s authority and are loyal to Belgrade.

The Serbs boycotted the April municipal elections in these localities, which resulted in the election of Albanian mayors with a turnout of less than 3.5%. Their enthronement last week was set on fire by the Kosovo government.

Source: Le Parisien

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