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EU urges high turnout in Kosovo vote, increases funding

The European Union urged voters across Kosovo on Thursday, including Kosovo Serbs, to participate in key weekend local elections as it announced extra funding to cushion a Serbia-Kosovo peace deal. "The November 3 elections are a key moment in Kosovo's future and are an important element in the implementation of the April Agreement and the process of normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia," EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a statement.

Kosovo withdraws warrant for Serbian minister ahead of vote

By Fatos Bytyci PRISTINA (Reuters) - Kosovo has withdrawn an arrest warrant for a Serbian government minister, a judge said on Thursday, easing tension before an election that is central to a fragile EU-brokered accord between the Balkan neighbors. Sunday's Kosovo municipal election is the first to include a small Serb-populated pocket in the north, which has resisted integration since the former Serbian province - where 90 percent of the population is Albanian - declared independence in 2008.

Boycott or betrayal? Kosovo Serbs torn over key election

Kosovo's minority Serbs, who vehemently reject the territory's independence, are torn over whether to vote in crunch local elections backed by former Yugoslav master Serbia for the first time. After urging Kosovo's ethnic Serbs to boycott local elections in 2010, Belgrade is now calling on them to take part in the November 3 vote after an historic EU-brokered deal to normalise ties with Pristina.

EU court jails 10 Kosovo Albanians for terrorism

An EU-led court in Kosovo has sentenced 10 ethnic Albanians to up to nine years in prison for terrorism aimed at provoking a conflict in southern Serbia, officials said Thursday. The 10 were found guilty of "terrorism and organisation/participation in a terrorist group... that executed an armed attack on (a) Serbian checkpoint", the EU rule of law mission (EULEX) said in a statement. The incident occurred in June 2012, when attackers fired at a Serbian police border post, slightly injuring one officer.

Belgrade, Pristina overcome dispute ahead of Kosovo local polls

Serbia and Kosovo late Monday overcame a dispute over Belgrade's request to visit the breakaway territory ahead of next month's local polls, which had threatened to torpedo a process to normalise ties between the two sides. "We have agreed to establish a mechanism which would allow Serbian officials to visit Kosovo without problems," said Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic after a meeting in Brussels with his Kosovan counterpart, according to Serbian television RTS.

Serbia, Kosovo settle row over election campaign

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Serbia and Kosovo have reached a deal to allow politicians from Belgrade to campaign during a Kosovo municipal election on November 3, smoothing over a row that had underscored the fragility of relations between the two. Last week, Serbia's prime minister threatened to pull out of talks with Kosovo - mediated by the European Union and intended to improve relations between Belgrade and Pristina over the long-term - after the former Serbian province denied him permission to visit.

First deadly attack against EU mission rocks Kosovo

Gunmen shot dead a member of the European Union's police force in Kosovo's flashpoint north on Thursday, dealing a serious blow to the EU-led bid to normalise ties between Belgrade and Pristina. The shooting, the first deadly attack on the mission since its creation five years ago, occurred in a region controlled by ethnic Serbs who reject Albanian-majority Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence. It came just weeks ahead of local polls in November and amid EU pressure on former foes Belgrade and Pristina to patch up their differences for accession talks to begin.

First deadly attack against EU mission rocks Kosovo

Gunmen shot dead a member of the European Union's police force in Kosovo's flashpoint north on Thursday, dealing a serious blow to the EU-led bid to normalise ties between Belgrade and Pristina. The shooting, the first deadly attack on the mission since its creation five years ago, occurred in a region controlled by ethnic Serbs who reject Albanian-majority Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence. It comes just weeks ahead of local polls in November and amid EU pressure on former foes Belgrade and Pristina to patch up their differences for accession talks to begin.

EU police officer shot dead in Kosovo, testing fragile accord

By Fatos Bytyci PRISTINA (Reuters) - Gunmen shot dead a European Union police officer in a mainly Serb region of Kosovo on Thursday, dealing the mission its first fatality since deploying in 2008 and shaking a fragile accord between the Balkan country and its former master Serbia. The Lithuanian officer was killed in a northern region where minority ethnic Serbs are growing increasingly nervous over a deal brokered by the EU in April to integrate them with the rest of majority-Albanian Kosovo.

Kosovo rebel turned MP cleared of war crimes

A EU-led court on Tuesday acquitted a top ethnic Albanian guerrilla commander-turned-politician of war crimes during the 1998-1999 Kosovo conflict, saying the evidence of the key prosecution witness was "wholly unreliable". British judge Malcolm Simons, who chaired the court panel, said Fatmir Limaj and nine other former members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) were found not guilty of war crimes against the civilian population and prisoners of war.
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