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Serbian politician killed; Belgrade suspends talks in Brussels

The Serb delegation that has been taking part in the negotiations in Brussels on the status of Kosovo and Metohija is going back home after a report on assassination of one of Kosovo Serbs’ leaders Oliver Ivanović, the director of the Serbian government office for Kosovo, Marko Juric, has announced.

Juric called the assassination a terror attack aimed at causing chaos in the northern part of Kosovo and Metohija and engage population of both the southern province of Serbia and the whole country into the conflict.

“This is an attack o the whole Serbian nation and a terror act; the attackers must be and will be punished,” Juric is quoted as saying by RTS Serbian channel.

Juric reminded that in recent days Serbian activists in Kosovo have been receiving threats from various political unions of local Albanians. Serbian property was attacked, but the international community has shown no response to it. According to him, whoever is behind the murder of Ivanovic, be it Albanian or Serb criminals, they must be held responsible.

Answering a question on how the assassination of Oliver Ivanovic could influence the dialog with Pristina, Juric said: “What can we talk about now? We are going back to Belgrade immediately.”

To remind, on January 16, a new round of talks launched in Brussels on normalization of the relations between Belgrade and Pristina. The agenda included issues related to application of the agreements reached on establishing a commonwealth of Serbian municipalities, freedom of movement, integrated control over border checkpoints on the administrative line between Kosovo and Serbia, justice, energy sector. They planned to discuss the issues of car register plates and functioning of the bridge in Kosovska Mitrovica that divides the northern Serbian and southern Albanian parts of the city.

Oliver Ivanovic, one of the leaders of Kosovo Serbs, was killed in the morning of January 16 in Kosovska Mitrovica. He wah shot dead in front of a building where his party headquarters is located.

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