Responding to recent unrest along Kosovo's northern border with Serbia, Turkey has called on both countries to engage in dialogue and to “refrain from violence and act with restraint” to avoid further damage to the stability in the Balkans.
“We follow with concern the ongoing tensions in the north of Kosovo,” said a statement released by the Turkish foreign minister on Friday. Warning that a further escalation of the tension may have adverse effects on regional peace, the statement urged that “the way to resolve the existing differences will be through dialogue,” as the minister asked both sides to engage in cooperation with the NATO Kosovo Force (kfor) and the European Union Rule of Law Mission (EULEX).
Partially independent under the control of KFOR and the UN since 1999, Kosovo declared independence in 2008. Serbia refuses to recognize the country and regards it a part of its own territory despite the secession.