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Kosovo – clashes. Türkiye will send commandos at NATO’s request

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Türkiye plans to send commandos to Kosovo. This is in response to NATO’s request to join the KFOR mission to allied peacekeepers in connection with the unrest in the north of the country.

In a statement released on Saturday, Turkey’s defense ministry called for restraint and constructive dialogue to resolve the crisis, which could damage security and stability in the region.

It is reported that a commando unit will be sent to Kosovo June 4 and 5.

READ MORE: NATO is strengthening peacekeeping forces in the Balkans. “The violence must stop”

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Tensions in Kosovo

Early elections were held in four municipalities in Kosovo last month. They were largely boycotted by ethnic Serbs. Only representatives of ethnic Albanians or other nationalities were elected as mayors.

On Friday, Kosovo police escorted the new mayors of cities where the majority of the inhabitants are ethnic Serbs to local government offices. It already happened then clashes between Kosovo police and local Serbs. The officers used tear gas and stun bombs. Several cars burned, including police cars.

Riots in KosovoGEORGI LICOVSKI/PAP/EPA

On the same day, Serbian troops on the border with Kosovo were put on high alert. At Friday’s rally in Belgrade, the president Serbia Aleksandar Vucic said that “Serbia will not sit idly by while the Serbs in the north of Kosovo are under attack.”

United States and the European Union have criticized the Kosovo government for its use of police forces. Last week France, Germany, Italy, Great Britain and the US i European Union issued a joint statement warning “all parties against threats or actions that could affect regional security, including freedom of movement, and that could inflame tensions or foster conflict.” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called on Kosovo to ease tensions with Serbia.

NATO peacekeepers in ZvečanGiorgij Licowski/PAP/EPA

Serbs, who make up the majority of the population in northern Kosovo, do not accept the country’s 2008 declaration of independence and Kosovo’s separation from Serbia.

Serbia and Kosovo PAP

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/GEORGI LICOVSKI



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