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Serbia calls for "cool heads" in Kosovo situation

(Xinhua)

15:26, September 17, 2011

BELGRADE, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Serbian government has called on Kosovo Serbs manning barricades to remain peaceful and to ignore any possible provocations that could lead to an outbreak of violence, announced Milivoje Mihajlovic, head of the Serbian government's press office on Friday.

As tensions continue to rise over the issue of who and how the administrative border crossings between Kosovo and Serbia will be managed, barricades have blocked major arteries and bridges linking the Serb municipalities in the north of Kosovo with the rest of the territory. Barricades have also been erected near border crossings with Serbia.

Mihaljovic urged the Kosovo Serbs at the barricades to "keep a cool head."

A team of Belgrade officials was dispatched to speak with residents. The team was tasked with easing tensions and avoiding any unforeseen developments, said Mihajlovic.

Although Belgrade and Pristina did recently reach an agreement on official customs seals which would facilitate the transportation and movements of goods, further attempts by Kosovo officials to control the border crossings have been interpreted by Serbia as unilateral provocations.

Mihajlovic accused Kosovo leader Hasim Taci of deliberately inflaming passions over the issue to divert attention from his own political challenges and stated that Taci was using international agencies as proxies to achieve his goals.

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