Kosovo and Serbia reach ‘European solution’ on license plate dispute

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Serbia and Kosovo on Saturday reached a deal to resolve a dispute on the use of Serbian-issued license plates and ID cards in Kosovo, the EU said.

“We have a deal,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell tweeted. “Under the EU-facilitated Dialogue, Serbia agreed to abolish entry/exit documents for Kosovo ID holders and Kosovo agreed to not introduce them for Serbian ID holders.”

“Kosovo Serbs, as well as all other citizens, will be able to travel freely between Kosovo & Serbia using their ID cards,” Borrell said, adding that Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti gave guarantees to this end.

Borrell said a “European solution” was found between the two countries.

The announcements comes as Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said on Friday that talks failed to ease tensions between the countries, despite ongoing efforts from EU and U.S. officials to bridge differences between Belgrade and Pristina.

The long-running border row sparked fears of an escalation in the region earlier this summer. Protesters blocked roads in northern Kosovo over new rules requiring Kosovo Serbs to use Kosovo-issued car license plates and for people entering the country to receive special entry documents from September 1.

The increasing tensions prompted NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg to say last week that peacekeeping forces were “ready to do more” in Kosovo if needed.