"Sides close to solution to north Kosovo crisis"

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA -- Serbian government representatives in Kosovo today announced that a deal on resolving the crisis in the north was "at hand".

KFOR in Zvečan (Beta)
KFOR in Zvečan (Beta)

Borislav Stefanović and Goran Bogdanović late on Thursday finished their several-hour long meeting with KFOR commander Erhard Buehler near the town of Leposavić, to tell reporters afterwards that they would not be making any statements tonight.

Stefanović only explained that "all will be known on Friday".

Earlier today, the Kosovo Albanian government in Priština led by Hashim Thaci softened its stance on a preliminary agreement announced by KFOR late on Wednesday, to announce that a meeting with KFOR commander Erhard Buehler was "fruitful", and that "agreement was reached".

Yesterday, the NATO-led force in the province announced that an agreement was drafted that envisaged for KFOR to maintain control over the Jarinje and Brnjak administrative line checkpoints, allowing vehicles, trucks of up to 3.5 tons, and trucks carrying humanitarian aid to go through after passing security checks.

After rejecting the announced deal on Wednesday, Hashim Thaci today said that the "newly created situation has been explained after the latest events", as well as that agreement was reached "on the next steps".

Thaci asserted that his government was last night "upset" because the preliminary agreement mentioned a humanitarian crisis in Kosovo.

"There is no humanitarian crisis in Kosovo... politicians are the ones to determine whether there is a humanitarian crisis," Thaci was quoted as saying by news agencies.

Meanwhile, Serbian government representatives Goran Bogdanović and Borislav Stefanović on Thursday held a meeting with heads of Serb municipalities in the northern part of Kosovo.

Stefanović said that "complete unity" was established at the meeting held with municipal leaders of Leposavić, Zvečan, Kosovska Mitrovica and Zubin Potok.

The Serbian official added that the public would learn the details of the deal once it had been "completely agreed on", and added there were "a few minor issues left".