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Disturbances in Kosovo won't affect visit of President Murmu to Serbia: MEA

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New Delhi | June 2, 2023 5:08:37 PM IST
India does not recognize the declaration of independence of Kosovo, Ministry of External Affairs said, adding that the situation in the country won't affect President Draupadi Murmu's visit to Serbia, which is scheduled to start from June 7.

Addressing a special briefing on the President's visit to Suriname and Serbia, MEA's Secretary West Sanjay Verma said, "Well, we are aware of the recent disturbances in Kosovo, which is at the extreme southern tip of Serbia. We have no reason at this point of time, as I say this, to be concerned that those incidents or have any consequence on the state visit of my president, nor have we been suggested otherwise by the hosts."

"On the matter of Kosovo, our stance has been quite clear and consistent that we do not recognise the declaration of independence by Kosovo. We, however, also believe that any differences need to be resolved through dialogue," Verma added.

President Murmu will pay a State Visit to Serbia on June 7, at the invitation of Aleksandar Vucic, President of Serbia.

He also hoped that the disturbances which have occurred over the last few days, are resolved peacefully through talks and that there is a de escalationof the situation.

Tensions have been rising in the past week in Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008. There were clashes with protesters on Monday over the installation of ethnically Albanian mayors in a disputed election.

Replying to media query whether the President's visit was pre-planned before the political crisis, Verma said that it was pre-planned before all the political crisis.

"For a matter of record, this has been a longstanding invitation. I won't remember exactly how long, but at least over a year, year and a half. I think because of the conflict in Ukraine, it was it it had to be rescheduled. And now we think it's a conducive time for this visit to take place," Verma added.

On Monday, around 25 soldiers from a NATO-led peacekeeping force were injured in clashes with Serb protesters while defending three town halls in northern Kosovo, Al Jazeera reported.

Serbia does not recognize the sovereignty of Kosovo and is backed by China, Russia and five other EU nations who also do not recognize the nation. (ANI)

 
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