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Kosovar prime minister ready to hold new mayoral elections in majority Serb municipalities

"I am ready to continue the path of mutual recognition in accordance with the agreement I signed last February with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic," Albin Kurti stressed

ROME, June 2. /TASS/. Albin Kurti, prime minister of unrecognized Kosovo, said he was ready to hold new elections for municipal heads in a few months.

"I understand very well that these mayors do not enjoy the approval of the local population. I am ready to call new elections in a few months," he told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, "in order to achieve de-escalation <...> I am ready to continue the path of mutual recognition in accordance with the agreement I signed last February with [Serbian President Aleksandar] Vucic. Then there will be new elections. And when there is no more threat, I will remove the Kosovo military police from the streets, as many are asking me to do. This is the roadmap I offer to everyone in the name of peace."

Earlier, French President Emmanuel Macron said at a press conference after the European Political Community summit in Moldova that France and Germany were calling for new municipal elections in four districts in the northern part of unrecognized Kosovo.

The situation in the municipalities of Leposavic, Zubin Potok and Zvecan in northern Kosovo and Metohija escalated on May 26 after Kosovo law enforcement officers tried to seize local administrative buildings in a bid to enable the new mayors of these municipalities, who were elected despite nearly the entire Serbian population boycotting the elections, to take office. On May 29, the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) cordoned off the administrative buildings, clashing with Serbian protesters.

According to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, 52 Serbs sought medical assistance in Kosovska Mitrovica; three of them were badly wounded. In turn, KFOR said that 40 of its troops, personnel from the Italian and Hungarian contingents, were wounded.

According to the Brussels agreements on normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina of April 19, 2013, the Community of Serb Municipalities, a self-governing body of Serbs living in the unrecognized republic, must be established in Kosovo. Vucic has repeatedly stated that his country has fulfilled its part of the Brussels agreements, while the Kosovars began drafting the community’s charter document only to then suspend the process.