Tags: EU | Kosovo | Opposition Protests

Western Powers Condemn Kosovo Opposition's Violent Protests

Friday, 20 November 2015 12:06 PM

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Kosovo's Western backers lashed out Thursday at the country's opposition parties over their "continued use of violence to achieve political goals."

A joint statement by the embassies of France, Germany, Italy, Britain and the United States called the violence "unacceptable" and said it is damaging Kosovo's international standing. The five were among the main supporters of Kosovo's declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008, which is not recognized by Belgrade.

In the past two months, the opposition has disrupted the work of the Parliament with tear gas, pepper spray, whistles and water bottles, demanding that the government renounce a deal with Serbia giving more powers to ethnic-Serb communities in Kosovo and another with Montenegro on border demarcation.

Kosovo and Serbia are holding EU-mediated talks to overcome their differences. Kosovo in 2008 declared independence from Serbia, an act that Serbia still rejects.

One opposition lawmaker was arrested Wednesday and three arrest warrants were issued for other lawmakers.

"We call for respect for the rule of law, democratic procedures and international norms. Political violence is unacceptable and damages the interests of Kosovo citizens and Kosovo's international standing. This benefits no one," the statement said.

On Thursday, three opposition leaders cancelled a planned rally but warned that more street protests were planned. Opposition leaders urged police not to turn into "an instrument of the government," said Visar Ymeri of the Self-Determination Movement Party.

The opposition has said it will disrupt work of Parliament unless the deals are renounced. The country's Constitutional Court has suspended the deal while it rules on whether it breaches the constitution.

The government has accused the opposition of trying to come to power by force.

Llazar Semini in Tirana, Albania, contributed to this report.

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Kosovo's Western backers lashed out Thursday at the country's opposition parties over their "continued use of violence to achieve political goals."A joint statement by the embassies of France, Germany, Italy, Britain and the United States called the violence "unacceptable"...
EU,Kosovo,Opposition Protests
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2015-06-20
Friday, 20 November 2015 12:06 PM
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