North Kosovo: Joint municipal session postponed

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA -- The joint ceremonial session of the four Serb municipalities in northern Kosovo, scheduled for Friday, has been postponed, officials have announced.

The reason given was that the manner in which the session should proceed was "still discussed by Belgrade and Priština."

The talks on how to hold formal sessions of municipal assemblies are conducted in Brussels on the technical level.

Mayor of northern Kosovska Mitrovica Krstimir Pantić said that the session was postponed due to the talks between working groups in Brussels, where it should be decided on the functioning of the municipalities in accordance with the Brussels agreement.

"This in no way means that we will yield to the pressure of Priština, and accept to work according to laws of the so-called state of Kosovo; we want to give a chance to our government and the negotiating team in Brussels to secure that what has been agreed on is respected," Pantić told councilors who briefly gathered on Friday.

This meeting was attended by mayors of Zvečan, northern Kosovska Mitrovica, Zubin Potok and Leposavi, as well as the chief the Kosovska Mitrovica District, Vasa Jelić.

Also in attendance were councilors from the Civic Initiative SDP and its leader, Oliver Ivanović, although he previously announced that he would boycott the inaugural meeting of the municipality.

The joint session was brief, and took place in the presence of representatives of EULEX and KFOR, while Albanian councilors did not show up.

During the talks in Brussels, Priština has been asking that councilors and mayors take the oath in accordance with the laws of Kosovo, while Belgrade and Serbs in northern Kosovo insist that these proceeding be status-neutral.