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UN envoy calls for patience, dialogue on Kosovo border tensions

(Xinhua)

17:10, November 30, 2011

UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- UN Special Representative for Kosovo Farid Zarif on Tuesday called for all sides involved in recent violent clashes along the Kosovo-Serbia border to "exercise patience, refrain from the use of force, (and) avoid violence."

UN envoy for Kosovo made the statement at an open meeting of the UN Security Council on the UN Stabilization Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).

The increasing number of clashes between the NATO-led Kosovo security forces (KFOR) and Kosovo Serb residents along Kosovo's northern border marks a clear "escalation in the level of tension and violence" in the area, he said.

"KFOR has consolidated perimeters at Gates 1 and 31 and has attempted to remove some of the Kosovo Serb roadblocks; such attempts have resulted in occasional clashes with the Serb protesters," Zarif said in his briefing.

"The Gates have remained closed to traffic due to the barricades erected by Kosovo Serb residents in the north, who have continued to object to the presence, albeit symbolic at the moment, of customs and police officials from the Pristina institutions," Zarif said.

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