Kosovo and Serbia sign ‘landmark’ agreements

Kosovo and Serbia have signed a series of agreements in key areas, in a major step towards normalising ties, the BBC reports.

Serbs in northern Kosovo will enjoy greater rights through one of the deals, while Kosovo gains its own international dialling code in another.

The EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, who mediated, called the agreements “landmark achievements”.

Kosovo split from Serbia in 2008, a decade on since a conflict between Serb forces and Kosovan Albanian rebels.

As well as deals on energy and telecommunications, Kosovo and Serbia also agreed on how to share the symbolic Mitrovica Bridge that separates Albanian and Serb communities in the north.

Both sides aspire to join EU, which for Serbia depends on implementing a 2013 EU-brokered agreement on normalising ties with its southern neighbour.

“This is a big achievement for the whole of Serbia and it means there are no longer any obstacles, nothing stands on Serbia’s way towards Europe,” said the Serb President Aleksandar Vucic.

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS