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Kosovo President calls for the barricades to come down

Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 03:36

Dec. 16 - Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga told Reuters TV that the only way forward is for the barricades to come down in northern Kosovo. Deborah Lutterbeck reports

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On Friday, a Russian aid convoy held up for days by a dispute between Serbia and Kosovo over control of part of their border passed into the former Serbian province after a compromise was reached on how it would be escorted. The convoy was caught up in a months-long dispute between the two countries over control of a northern slice of the former Serbian province. Those tensions are not likely to go away. Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga. SOUNDBITE (English) KOSOVO PRESIDENT ATIFETE JAHJAGA, SAYING: "The only answer to this situation -- the three municipalities, the four municipalities in the Northern part of Kosovo is the maintenance of the rule of law. The barricades have to be taken away because, this way, we are going to enable the freedom of movement of the people, and also the goods, the materials and whatever is necessary for the welfare of all the citizens in that part of Kosovo." For more than a decade, NATO forces have helped provide security to Kosovo, and they are likely to be needed for some time. SOUNDBITE (English) KOSOVO PRESIDENT ATIFETE JAHJAGA, SAYING: "Despite this joint success in stabilizing Kosovo, we are still faced with security challenges in the region, and NATO's presence is pretty much required. And, it remains crucial, and critical for the time being , not only about Kosovo, buy mainly from the view of the region in that regard." As a female president of a muslim country, there are a different set of challenges for the 36-year old president. SOUNDBITE (English) KOSOVO PRESIDENT ATIFETE JAHJAGA, SAYING: "Being a woman president, in the daily basis is nothing different, it is nothing special, and the challenges are the same as by all other presidents. In addition to that that, being the first woman president in that part of the world really took additional efforts and requirements for myself to set up a proper example for the other women within my country, and within the region as well," she said. "Also, representing the class of young leaders that, I need that additional push to put that to the surface so the youth and the women they will see a different future, so that is an additional burden that I am faced with." Kosovo broke away from Serbia in 1999 and declared independence in 2008. The United States and most of its European allies have recognized the new state, but Belgrade, backed by Russia, China and some EU members such as Spain and Slovakia remain opposed. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters

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Kosovo President calls for the barricades to come down

Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 03:36