EU office in northern K. Mitrovica

PRIŠTINA -- A European Union office was opened today in the northern, mostly Serb part of the ethnically divided town of Kosovska Mitrovica.

The office's main goal, it was announced, will be to promote EU values and lower tensions in this part of Kosovo.

The office, dubbed "EU House", will be led by Italy's ambassador to Priština, Michael Giffoni.

In Priština, Kosovo Albanian authorities expect this to be an introduction into the implementation of their "strategy for north", which was produced together with the International Civilian Office (ICO).

ICO is headed by Pieter Feith, who also holds the office of EU's special representative in Kosovo.

But Giffoni stated that the strategy does not also represent a plan of the EU.

The plan aims to bring Serb area's under Priština's control, and has been rejected by local Serbs, and official Belgrade.