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HomePoliticsNATO mediates in Serbia-Kosovo car plate dispute

NATO mediates in Serbia-Kosovo car plate dispute

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The border crossing between Serbia and Kosovo reopened on Saturday as Serbs removed the roadblock consisting of trucks and cars.

Nato troops advanced in the crossing under an EU-supervised mission to end the car-plate conflict between the two countries.

The Kosovan special forces retreated from the crossing in the north almost two weeks after the Serbs blocked the road.

The Serbs protested the decision by Kosovo to issue temporary car license plates for all cars from Serbia.

The Kosovo government said it has imposed a license plate requirement as a move of retaliation for the Serbian measures against Kosovan drivers since 2008.

It added that it was due to the Serbian measures against Kosovan drivers since 2008 when Kosovo declared independence.

“According to the mentioned arrangement, KFOR will maintain a temporary, robust and agile presence in the area” KFOR stated.

KFOR is a peacekeeping force, which NATO leads.

However, Serbia does not recognize the independence of Kosovo, and thus the latter’s right to register cars.

Conflict over Kosovo’s independence

Serbia lost control of its previous province after the NATO bombing in 1999.

The confrontation between the two countries this month has spiraled into a conflict but eventually made a deal on Thursday.

The special EU envoy, Miroslav Lajcak, mediated to make the deal happen.

Per the deal, license plates will have stickers on them to cover any state symbols.

Moreover, NATO will gain control over the area, as it has around 3,000 troops in Kosovo.

Serbia must clear up any complications with Kosovo, as the former is seeking membership in the EU.

The two countries agreed to a dialogue, which is under the mediation of the EU, in 2013.

Western countries, including the US and the UK, have backed the independence of Kosovo.

However, five countries still don’t recognize its independence. Russia, which is Serbia’s ally, prevents Kosovo from being a member of the UN.

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