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Serbia and Kosovo agree to end 10-day border standoff

A girl walks past graffiti on a wall reading 'Kosovo is the heart of Serbia,' in Belgrade, Serbia, on Friday, September 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
A girl walks past graffiti on a wall reading 'Kosovo is the heart of Serbia,' in Belgrade, Serbia, on Friday, September 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

Serbia and Kosovo reach an agreement to end a tense standoff at their border, EU envoy Miroslav Lajcak says.

The two neighbors were at loggerheads for more than 10 days, after Kosovo banned vehicles with Serbian registration plates from entering its territory — mirroring a years-long Serbian practice against vehicles traveling the other way.

After Kosovo dispatched special police units to oversee the ban’s implementation, local Serbs rebelled and blocked the roads leading to the border. Serbia then responded by deploying armored vehicles close to the frontier.

According to a European Union-brokered deal struck in Brussels, Kosovo agrees to remove the special police units on Saturday and the local Serbs agree to dismantle the barricades at the same time.

“We have a deal! After two days of intense negotiations, an agreement on de-escalation and the way forward has just been reached,” Lajcak writes on Twitter.

NATO-led peacekeepers from the KFOR mission will also be deployed at the border for two weeks to maintain a “safe and secure environment.”

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