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Serb, Kosovar PMs Meet With EU After Polls

A man walks in front of a wall covered by electoral posters in the divided town of Mitrovica on November 4.
A man walks in front of a wall covered by electoral posters in the divided town of Mitrovica on November 4.
BRUSSELS -- The prime ministers of Serbia and Kosovo, Ivica Dacic and Hashim Thaci, have met in Brussels with the EU's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, to discuss recent local elections in Kosovo.

All three condemned the violence on election day in the Serb-dominated northern part of Mitrovica on November 2 where masked men stormed and ransacked three polling stations.

Ashton's spokeswoman, Maja Kocijanic summarized the November 6 discussions for the media.

"[Kosovar Prime Minister Hashim Thaci and Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic] discussed various angles but most importantly they discussed the next steps in the electoral process," she said.

"You know that process is still ongoing. We still have a second round of [local] elections [in Kosovo to be held] and what happened was that the prime ministers have agreed on the way forward to successfully complete this electoral process. It is now for the relevant authorities in Pristina to decide on the key elements when it comes to this."

Thaci said it was agreed Kosovo's Election Commission would set a date for a rerun of elections there.

"The final decision about the date of the rerun of the elections in those parts where incidents took place rests with the Kosovo Election Committee and we, as a political party, will support their decision whenever it will be," he said. "But in accordance with the law, of course, and logic this should happen before the second round of elections in the rest of Kosovo. After that we will hold the second round of elections throughout the territory of Kosovo on the same day."

The AP news agency reported on November 6 that the likely date for a rerun of elections will be November 17.

Dacic said that, after the rerun of elections in the northern part of Mitrovica and the second round for the rest of Kosovo are completed, the "basis" would be laid for moving forward on other issues.

"After these [Kosovo local] elections Sunday [November 2] and after the second round of mayoral races on December 1 we will, most likely, have legal and legitimate Serbian authorities in those 10 municipalities, legal and legitimate from the point of view of Belgrade, Pristina, and the international community," he said. "In this regard, for us, it forms the basis for the establishment of the association of Serbian municipalities, which will be done after the second round."

It was also agreed that the next meeting in Brussels between the two prime ministers and Ashton will happen on December 5.

With reporting by AP
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