Kosovo urges EU to exert pressure on Serbia over Haradinaj

Kosovo asked the European Union on Thursday to press the candidate country Serbia to drop arrest warrants against former Kosovo fighters, including a warrant for the arrest of former Kosovo prime minister Ramush Haradinaj, arrested in France this week, says Reuters.

Haradinaj was arrested by French border police on Wednesday on his arrival at Basel-Mulhouse on a flight from Pristina. He was arrested on a warrant issued by Serbia in 2004.

Haradinaj served as a commander in the Kosovo Liberation Army during the 1998-99 Kosovo war and was accused of war crimes against Serbian civilians in the Decani district in 1998, but was acquitted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague.

The Kosovo government and opposition leaders have called for discontinuing talks on the normalisation of relations with Serbia, which have been conducted with the mediation of the EU. For both countries, the talks are a precondition for drawing closer to the EU.

According to security sources, Serbia has issued international warrants for the arrest of some 20 Kosovars, mostly former members of the Kosovo Liberation Army.

"With these primitive acts, Serbia is not only hurting the spirit of the dialogue to have good neighbourly relations, but is proving that it is a destabilising factor in the whole region, and international partners should be seriously worried," Edita Tahiri, Kosovo's minister in charge of the EU-brokered dialogue with Serbia, told local media.

Last update: Thu, 05/01/2017 - 23:03
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