Council for National Security holds emergecy meeting

BELGRADE -- The Council for National Security met on Friday in Belgrade to discuss the situation in Kosovo and Metohija in the wake of this morning's violence there.

The Serbian Presidency headquarters (file)
The Serbian Presidency headquarters (file)

The council warned that the security of all citizens of Kosovo was seriously threatened and called on UNMIK, KFOR and EULEX to prevent all attempts of the interim authorities in Priština aimed at causing instability, while also urging people to refrain from confrontations with members of the international missions.

"The National Security Council has urged the international missions of UNMIK, KFOR and EULEX to prevent, within the scope of their mandates, all attempts of the interim authorities in Priština aimed at causing instability and fear among the Serb population and to refrain from using force against unprotected citizens in the province," a statement issued after the emergency meeting said.

The council also urged the citizens to refrain from confrontations with members of the international missions and thus help to calm the situation.

All problems in Kosovo must be solved through dialogue, without violence and this is the only road to stability in the whole region, adds the release.

The council session was attended by Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić, Prime Minister Mirko Cvetković, ministers of defense, internal affairs and justice, the chief of the Serbian Army General Staff, and heads of the Security Information Agency, the Military Security Agency and the Military Intelligence Agency.

NATO troops in Kosovo, KFOR, started removing barricades near Zvečan in the north of the province on Friday morning. At least three Serbs and one KFOR soldier were injured in ensuing clashes.

The NATO troops removed the barricades in the villages of Rudare and Dudin Krš and blocked all roads leading to the barricades.

The roadblocks were put up by the citizens after last year's attempt by the Kosovo Albanian government in Priština to take over two administrative checkpoints in the north.

Serbs are the majority population north of the Ibar River and reject the authority of the government in Priština, as well as the unilateral declaration of independence made over four years ago by Kosovo's ethnic Albanians.