Prime US envoy Blinken urges Kosovo resume talks with Serbia

PRISTINA, Kosovo – Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, has informed Kosovo that normalizing talks with Serbia is essential on its way to the European Union.

The Kosovar Prime Minister Albin Kurti published a letter of congratulations on Thursday that he had received from Blinken the day before. Blinken called on Kosovo “to participate productively and immediately in the US-backed, EU-backed dialogue with Serbia”.

“Securing a comprehensive normalization agreement with Serbia that focuses on mutual recognition is critical to Kosovo’s ability to reach its full potential and advance its EU accession path,” wrote Blinken.

Brussels has also stressed that normalization talks between Kosovo and Serbia are fundamental to the goal of one day becoming bloc members.

Kurti, who on March 22nd after his left self-determination movement or Vetevendosje! Taking office, won the most votes in Kosovo’s parliamentary elections on February 14. The talks with Serbia are not one of the immediate objectives.

Negotiations to normalize relations between Kosovo and neighboring Serbia, which began a decade ago, stalled last year.

Kurti and the new President Vjosa Osmani mentioned the problem of around 1,640 people missing in the 1998-1999 war as a priority in these talks.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, a decade after a brutal 1998-1999 war between separatist ethnic Albanian rebels and Serbian forces that ended after a 78-day NATO air campaign that evicted Serb forces and drafted peacekeeping forces.

Most Western nations have recognized Kosovo’s sovereignty, but Serbia and its allies Russia and China have not. Tensions over Kosovo remain a source of volatility in the Balkans.

The Associated Press

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The church was ordered to close in late January. R n r nBut it took health officials more than two months to shut them down. Clearly these are not new legal powers, said Lorian Hardcastle, associate professor in the University of Calgary Law School. u201cThis could have happened at any time in the past few months. u201d r n r nBut police said the job fell to the Alberta Health Service while AHS said they were still investigating. They tried other measures, such as the arrest of the Church’s pastor, James Coates. R n r nhttps: / / twitter.com / CityRachelle / status / 1379814055439835136 r n r nThe timing The decision will now be made as AHS on the rise of more deadly variants of COVID 19 in Alberta and the arrival of a new set of public health restrictions indicates the public’s reactions to new restrictions are those of those who do not comply, Hardcastle said. u201cAnd this is probably the most overt example of overt and willful non-compliance in the entire province. u201d r n r n Meanwhile, some members of the UCP caucus were discussing the closure. r n r n u201cWe cannot allow churches to be barricaded, u201d said MLA Dan Williams. r n r n[bc_video video_id=”6247342750001″ account_id=”593482582001″ player_id=”SyxzIeNcgb”] r n r nThe attorneys representing the GraceLife Church plan to make this a charter challenge. They are currently trying to get Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw to summon to testify at the next court date on May 3rd. 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