France strongly condemns the attacks on EU law enforcement officers in northern Kosovo over the weekend and expressed concern over rising tensions in the country, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said on Monday.
The EULEX mission, the EU law enforcement agencies deployed in Kosovo’s northern region, said it had been fired on with grenades. There were no injuries among the staff. In a statement by the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman that was published on Monday, France said it “strongly condemns the unacceptable attack” on the EU mission “as well as all acts of violence on the ground.”
Indeed, tensions have risen in northern Kosovo after attacks on local police, road blockades, gunfire and explosions. Local elections have been postponed and the Serbian president has asked NATO to intervene in the region.
Thus, the French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman “strongly calls on the parties to exercise the utmost restraint and responsibility in order to reduce tensions.” The words used are more or less the same as those used by the US the day before, as quoted by EURACTIV’s partner, exit.al.
France is calling for progress “towards a comprehensive agreement” between Serbia and Kosovo, which must go through the ongoing European mediation. French diplomacy invited “both parties to re-engage in dialogue,” after deploring, on 21 November, “the absence of an agreement between Serbia and Kosovo.”
On the same occasion, France called for the avoidance of any escalation of tensions and “urged both parties, in particular Kosovo, to accept the compromise proposal formulated by the European Union,” which did not happen afterwards.