Kosovo suspends deal giving powers to Serb-dominated areas

AP News
|
Posted: Nov 11, 2015 9:36 AM

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Kosovo's Constitutional Court has suspended a deal with Serbia that would have given more powers to Serb-dominated areas in Kosovo, an agreement that has sparked violent opposition protests for two months.

The Kosovo opposition has disrupted Parliament using tear gas, whistles and eggs to demand that the government renounce the deal, and also one with Montenegro on border demarcation. The measures cannot become law unless voted upon by the Parliament.

Following a request from the country's president in a move to calm tensions, the court on Wednesday said it has temporarily suspended any action based on the deals until it has ruled on their constitutionality.

President Atifete Jahjaga hailed the court's decision, noting that it "only suspends implementation of the agreement pending the court's verdict."

"Kosovo remains committed to the dialogue with Serbia and the implementation of agreements reached in Brussels to normalize ties between the two countries," she added.

The opposition says it does not trust the Constitutional Court, which it claims is too linked with the government, and says protests will continue.

"There will be no normal functioning of the state institutions unless deals with Serbia and Montenegro are withdrawn," the opposition said in a statement.

Serbia said considered it the court's ruling "a blow to the Brussels dialogue and a threat to regional stability."

Kosovo and Serbia are engaged in EU-led talks to overcome their differences. Kosovo declared independence in 2008 from Serbia, a move not recognized by Serbia.