Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the resumption of the European Union-facilitated dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo, saying he is encouraged by the adoption of the agreement on border controls reached last week.
The adoption of the EU’s “Integrated Border Management (IBM) Agreed Conclusions” in Brussels on Friday is expected to pave the way for the normalisation of the situation at gates 1 and 31 of the border crossings and the restoration of freedom of movement in a peaceful manner, Mr. Ban said.
He urged Belgrade and Pristina to further develop and implement, in good faith, arrangements based on those conclusions, which are consistent with a Security Council resolution.
“The Secretary-General also calls on all parties to honour the agreements reached in the framework of the dialogue, to refrain from unilateral action, and to actively support the de-escalation of tensions on the ground,” said a statement issued by his spokesperson.
A dispute between Kosovo and Serbia over the control of the two border crossings in northern Kosovo has led to several violent clashes between local Serb residents and the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) in recent months. UN officials have been urging both sides to refrain from unilateral actions and the use of force.