UN Security Council Schedules Meeting on Kosovo Situation

Posted September 15th, 2011 at 4:50 pm (UTC-5)
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The United Nations Security Council is set to hold a closed-door meeting Thursday evening to discuss growing tensions in northern Kosovo.

Serbia and Russia requested the meeting to urge the council to prevent Kosovo's ethnic Albanian authorities from using force in northern Kosovo, which is populated by ethnic Serbs who reject the government in Pristina.

Kosovo has announced plans to send its customs officials and security forces Friday to take over two troublesome border crossings with Serbia. The crossings have been under NATO control since violence between ethnic Serbs and Albanians erupted there in July, leaving one person dead.

Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic and his Kosovan counterpart, Enver Hoxhaj, will represent their countries at Thursday's council session.

In Belgrade, Serbian President Boris Tadic urged the international community to prevent any attempt at resolving the Kosovo issue without dialogue and compromise. He said unilateral moves in Kosovo are dangerous for the whole world.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and many countries including the United States have recognized the move. But Serbia claims the move is illegal and has the support of Russia, a permanent U.N. Security Council member with veto power. Since then, northern Kosovo has been plagued by ethnic conflict between the region's majority Serbs and ethnic Albanians who are the majority in the rest of Kosovo.

Serbian customs officials have barred goods that contain attributes of Kosovo's statehood, such as Pristina's own stamps. In response, Kosovo has barred Serbian imports and attempted to take over the two important border crossings to enforce the ban.